A lot has been said about social entrepreneurship lately, but maybe some of you, like me, haven’t really been paying much attention. This sounded an awful lot like what we do and how we do it, and frankly what many have been quietly doing since the beginning of time. After reading what it’s all about, broadly speaking it is doing something good for the benefit of many using a different (than what is commonly used) business model. This can be applied to fund raising as a non-profit or for-profit organizations, and to what you can do as a single individual to create change in the way things are done – for the better. Follow the link below this article to a great story…
What sounds so appealing about ‘social entrepreneurship’ now is the meaning of it in the context of our time. What we are not prepared to put up with now is in reference to the well published stories today of big businesses buying out other businesses just to rid themselves of their competition putting local economies into wipe-out mode, and the excessive level of transparent greed where there is only one bottom line – which is profit at any cost.
We are all buying into and paying for the rampant abuse of cheap labour and disregard for the environment for example, when we buy GM foods, yes they are cheap and they do feed us but they do not nourish us. And in the end we all pay the higher price for illness and disease caused by these foods, unharmonious growing methods, and insecticide and pesticide use, which destroys our single life giving earth.
Similarly, we are buying clothing that is cheaper than it has ever been, and we have access to more and more stuff than we’ve ever had before. What price for this? Very high in the end because the cheap manufactured products that come from overseas at the lowest quality they could be, in effect puts our local economy in a very vulnerable position. We are not supporting ourselves and the money spent does not circulate in our own economy.
Cheap clothing materials are making us, the environment and the real people who handle them ill (from toxic chemical products, toxic by-products and toxic chemical coatings). We pay for products over and over again because they are literally only good enough to toss out after a short while. The multitude of people who actually make them can barely earn a living wage by it, and the few individuals at the top of this golden food chain benefit from this for now, but everyone suffers in the end.
You may well ask how one person can change the whole world. Why can the intentions and integrity of a single person change the way things are created, the way these things are traded, and the effects on the environment? The great change makers of the past such as Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Tommy Douglas or Florence Nightingale – the people who are recognized for their contribution to change – actually represent less than 1% of the total movement or number of people responsible for effecting that change.
These ordinary people started a reaction of great change with other ordinary people who thought the same way and together, eventually created the world of change for the better. We don’t need to be well recognized leaders, just leaders of change by making others aware of what we believe to be good and beneficial and how we achieve that. We believe in doing and showing people how to do things teaches valuable lessons, people actually practicing something is how skills become well developed and that mentoring is a great way to encourage new growth.
Starting a business should be based on at least one set of solid skills, add to that an active continual learning quest to update your knowledge, and staying in business of any kind, should be based on a triple bottom line. ‘Profit’ should only be one of three indicators of your organization’s well-being or success. The second one is ‘you and the people’ – are you and your staff, colleagues and clients happy with what and how you do what you do. Is it possible to support your local economy, are you making a difference for the betterment of your community. The third is ‘doing no harm’ to the environment – by using environmentally sustainable and green technologies and products -this one has monumental impact in the long term.
Yours truly… J