Spotlight: Rebecca Ballard

Rebecca long

What drives you?

“My faith and a yearning to make this world look more like the world I believe it should be. I have a vision which stems from my desire to promote social justice of how things can be much better in this world.”

How do you define social entrepreneurship?

“Having a product or service which generates the bulk of an organization or company’s revenue and also promotes social good, may be a for-profit, nonprofit, or hybrid model.”

Biggest SocEnt trend you have seen in the last 5 years?

“It is part of our generation, it helps define what it means to be a Millennial.

Background

In her first career, Rebecca worked six years as a government attorney before deciding that “the train [she] was on was not headed in the direction she wanted to go on.” Together with her husband who works at McKinsey, she moved to Asia. “We told them we would go anywhere in the world as long as it wasn’t in a war zone. We were ready for a big adventure. Before I knew it, we were in Malaysia.” With a background in math, the arts, religion, and law Rebecca sees herself as a jack of all trades: “Having a law degree gave me the tools I need to make an impact in this world, it’s a good background to have. But these days, I am more passionate about ending homelessness and promoting responsible consumerism.” I ask her how she coped with leaving a secure career path and following her passions. Rebecca explains: “I made a lot of mistakes and the wrong choices along the way. But through trial and error I figured out where my passion lies. One of the things I got interested in while abroad was market-based advocacy and deploying market-based solutions to social problems, a nascent calling which had been in me for a long time. That’s how I learned I wanted to work in social entrepreneurship.”

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