Kind, Brave, & Zesty: Leveraging Character Strengths In Impactful Social Entrepreneurs Across Cultures
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This thesis is a search to answer the first principle questions of: How can we leave the world a better place than I found it? and How can we be happy? That exploration led to research on social entrepreneurship, positive psychology, character strengths, and leveraging character strengths to create greater social impact. The main portion of research is an original study. 75 social entrepreneurs from the USA and India participated in a survey that was based on their personal experience of the problem their organization seeks to solve and preexisting, scientifically sound surveys of character strengths, social impact, and life satisfaction. Results were assessed through quantitative analysis and qualitative research by interviewing study participants. Based on these interviews, survey analysis, and background research, recommendations were made for the best ways social entrepreneurs should apply character strengths. Key results include that kindness was positively and creativity was negatively correlated with social impact. Zest and humility were positively correlated with life satisfaction. Personal experience of the problem a social entrepreneur seeks to solve was negatively correlated with life satisfaction. Applications of these character strengths to create greater social impact are discussed in the thesis’s brief final section.