A growing number of entrepreneurs are channeling their desire to help people and improve the world into their business plans and decisions. While for many this is a personal decision from the heart, the current surging economy is also inspiring a spirit of benevolence and a desire to share the wealth with others.
Many experts agree that a more effective antidote than charity for poverty and inequality is offering economic opportunity. Entrepreneurship combined with technological innovation is accelerating productivity exponentially. This gives business creators more incentive and breathing room to consider the potential societal impact of their efforts.
Strengthening the Infrastructure of Societies
Social mobility benefits the entire society, not just the groups that are impoverished or disadvantaged. With an increasing number of entrepreneurs harnessing the power of the combination of these factors, the trend is toward businesses that uplift the entire society.
Sometimes called “impact entrepreneurs,” this growing sector of business developers and owners are channeling their entrepreneurial spirit into making a difference in the lives of others. This includes employees, clients, vendors and all of the people their businesses can potentially touch.
Business is about making a profit, and a majority of entrepreneurs put this motivation first. However, many are finding their focus doesn’t have to be “either-or.”
Some potential societal impact investor models include:
Double Bottom Line
Many mission driven companies measure their impact based upon both social impact AND financial performance. Again, ideally, it shouldn’t have to be either-or. Providing top-notch training is one way to help disadvantaged persons to learn key skills. Outreach to these communities provides assistance while also allowing companies to connect with promising new talent.
Companies can keep their business models essentially the same but tap into their funds to invest in other enterprises with a focus on making a difference. Impact investing mutual funds are also becoming more popular and available.
With this model, entrepreneurs make the effort to work with civic leaders who already have their fingers on the pulse of what the community needs most. This allows them to make informed decisions about how best to assist the community through their influence and entrepreneurial choices.
These efforts can be either for-profit or nonprofit, depending upon the issue. These efforts can substantially improve the infrastructure of the community and strengthen the entire area economically.
These are just a few examples of the ways businesses can benefit their community while still keeping an eye on profits and long-term success. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Hybrid models tend to be the most popular, allowing entrepreneurs and their employees to channel a drive for contributing to social change and have a positive financial impact in the community.
The most effective and lasting change very often draws from multiple disciplines and resources. This is why blended societal impact models tend to be so powerful. Combining entrepreneurship with a focus on positive social change uplifts workers and communities. This powerful form of altruism also helps to create a more positive future for world.