Social entrepreneurs not only have a particular set of skills, they possess a certain orientation towards their chosen industry and the world which they are committed to change.
In a course at the Columbia School of Engineering where Microsoft funded research to study successful social entrepreneurs, we came up with a description for this frame of mind as that of the "visionary practitioner," or VP. The visionary practitioner is someone who has demonstrated the ability to go from idea (or "vision) directly into practice or realization. They are able to connect directly to the customer/client/beneficiary and engage in the generation of a solution of the perceived problem, seemingly through force of will. Of course, there is more to it than that. When comparing the attributes of VPs, they all demonstrate certain characteristics that can be categorized into hard skills and value sets: