The Fourth Sector

In last Sunday’s New York Times, the front page story in its SundayBusiness Section addresses the burgeoning “fourth sector”.

What is this so-called fourth sector, you ask?

Well, if there are the public, private and non-profit (or “independent”) sectors, then this new breed of socially responsible hybrid entities makes up the fourth sector.

The fourth sector apparently is what I have previously alluded to as “social enterprises” or what this article has also referred to as “for-benefit” companies. (Clearly, a marketing guru didn’t come up with that moniker.)

While the article is well worth reading and sharing with others, I was left thinking that regardless how noble social entrepreneurs’ intentions are, until this new enlightened class of capitalists is truly inclusive and equitably funded, the gaping socio-economic gaps that persist in this divided nation will not soon be closed.