The financial crisis and accounting scandals in large companies have stimulated a thorough assessment of the contribution of enterprises and financial institutions to the greater public good and economic prosperity. This assessment has led to a revaluation of the ideas of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. In this article we explore the nature and character of these ideas by a philosophical analysis and by comparison with profit-driven organizations and corporate social responsibility. We show that social entrepreneurs and impact investors distinguish themselves by their social and environmental objectives, their focus on the justified interests of all stakeholders, and their values and world view. We also make a reasonable case that in the coming decade social entrepreneurs and impact investors will play an important role in the development of the global world.