Why we think social enterprise and purpose led businesses are the answer to the World's problems
In 2015 the United Nations announced seventeen long-term Global Goals for social, economic and environmental good. They are important to our mission and can be seen here:
Try to imagine a world where these goals are realised - it's worth reaching for.
When we first saw these goals we immediately thought of the Social Enterprise sector being a big part of the mechanism needed to achieve them.
We are a big fan of Social Enterprise and have been since before the term was coined. In this blog we hope to begin to persuade others as to why our appreciation of this now growing sector is well placed and also makes the best of good business sense to boot.
We believe that Social Enterprise has the potential to be a massive antidote to the manifold social and environmental issues that constantly create pain and ‘dis-ease’ in the world. It will require tremendous growth and take-up of this relatively new sector in order for society to start seeing a consistent reduction in the level of social and environmental challenges that we face.
Why Social Enterprise? How can this relatively new (but growing) sector change things long term?
Our argument is a simple one. It’s about efficiency. In the old perceived model of ‘being’ and ‘doing’ there is usually a clear divide between the concepts of ‘charity’ and ‘looking after oneself’. In the old model you do one or the other at any given time, but very rarely, if ever, both at once. Since each of us only has a finite amount of time, in the old model we are faced with a clear decision and the vast majority of us, most of the time, opt for self-orientation. This is natural and can be viewed as intelligent. At least by maintaining ‘self’ we reduce the risk of becoming a burden to others and even contributing something back if we are productive enough. Some of us who do extremely well working in the ‘self’ model may start to deploy relatively significant sums to help others or the environment and this is great. However, at scale the evidence clearly suggests that the small proportion of highly successful people acting philanthropically, even when the combined wealth deployed to help is in the tens of billions of dollars per year, is still a drop in the ocean and not enough by itself to deliver real and lasting global change.
But what if we had organisational models and service offerings that made it possible to contribute to ‘self’ and ‘others’ simultaneously? What if these models flowed with our everyday lives? And what if they were easily accessible at scale? In essence, what if just doing business, and going about our business, delivered the good that we need to bring about a fairer, better society.
In our view good social enterprises do a number of things:
1. However achieved, they offer individuals a seamless or effortless way of attending to concepts of ‘self’ and ‘others’ simultaneously. This is best achieved through routine activities that just have a valuable benefit or outcome for planet or society. At Good Karma Media we donate 50% of our profits to make sure that we have a positive impact.
2. They offer employees an opportunity to go beyond the satisfaction delivered by purely ‘self’ oriented jobs because they know that their everyday work also has a positive impact on society and/or the environment. We want our staff to share our passion for our client’s social missions and to feel a deep connection with the act of doing good. We strive to build wellness into our working life.
3. Social Enterprise models can still provide shareholders with an opportunity to earn a return-on-investment both commercially and more importantly, ethically and morally. We accept that our success is directly linked to the growth of the impact that we can have.
If more and more organisations like this continue to emerge – then there really is hope for a brighter future where many of the social and environmental challenges, which society has always endured and we still face today, eventually become a thing of the past.
Talk to us at Good Karma Media to find out how we can help