Social enterprises worldwide are changing the way how to do business. Instead of focusing on profit, they focus on greater good. They measure their success based on the amount of change they have made instead of counting the dollars. You can have a great product or service but why does it matter if your business model is not focusing on a purpose that makes the world a better place?
Why every country needs social enterprises
Social enterprises worldwide are changing the way how to do business. Instead of focusing on profit, they focus on greater good. They measure their success based on the amount of change they have made instead of counting the dollars. At the end, isn’t it all that matters?
A social enterprise is a more ethical and sustainable way of doing business while focusing on a social goal. A social enterprise is an independent business with the aim of solving social problems, improving lives of communities or individuals, conserve nature or the environment. The money that these business make is reinvested in the business and its causes. When these business make a profit, the community as a whole makes profits.
A great example of a social enterprise is TOMS. TOMS has incorporated the concept of giving in their business model. For every pair of shoes, they sell, they help someone in need by giving them a pair of shoes. Currently they have given away 60 million pairs of shoes. The founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie has written a very interesting and inspiring book: ‘Start something that matters’. Make sure to put this book on your reading lists!
Businesses in general used to focus on generating profit and pleasing their shareholders. Filling wallets is an old fashioned and unsustainable way of doing business. You can have a great product or service but why does it matter if your business model is not focusing on a purpose that makes the world a better place?
In many countries you see that governments are cutting their expenses and try to save money. The social problems and expenses keep growing. They are unable to solve everything just by themselves. In every country many foundations and NGO’s are working intensively on solving social and environmental problems, but many of these organizations are dependent on donations. Is that a sustainable way of solving social issues?
Social enterprises are a great solution to many problems. Instead of waiting for donations, they set up an innovative business plan and tackle problems in a creative way.
We believe that the time has come for many businesses to change their way of acting. A community belongs to everyone! Why do many people count the government responsible for all social and environmental problems? It is not their fault that there are homeless people, street dogs and unfed children. We as a community are responsible for the wellbeing of everyone! If you run a successful business why not invest in the community instead of finding ways to pay less taxes? The community gives your business a place to run and they believe in your success. Because of the community you are able to run your business so doesn’t that mean that you are responsible for at least a small part of the wellbeing of all these people?
The government is unable to carry all these problems by themselves. Governments have to create a landscape for social enterprises. They need space to operate and fit in the country’s economic model. Canada and the United States have created attractive legal business structures that give space to social enterprises. They are able to solve problems and their governments implemented benefits for social enterprises. They give them space to pay less taxes and invest in their community. It doesn’t matter in what you invest as long as you go for the greater good. It is not only beneficial for the wellbeing but also for the image of the community.
What about Aruba?
Many people ask us, why do you help people in Ecuador while many local people can use your help to? If a tourist comes back to Aruba after their vacation to adopt a street dog, do we say why not helping your local dogs instead of adopting one from Aruba? We are one connected world and need to help each other. Does it matter where you are born or where you live? Help = help!
We believe there is a lot of potential in Aruba to start a social enterprise. We live in a community where people care about each other. Even tourists care! They return to Aruba to adopt a street dog, they help to clean the beaches, or they search for donations in their home countries and return to solve a problem! We need to support all the social initiatives!
Why local business doesn’t act? They donate to causes but almost none of them takes ownership of a problem.
In Aruba you don’t see many social enterprises. Many local foundations are working on solving social problems but most of them are dependent on donations. Why not come up with something creative and start create your own!
What do you think? Feel free to share your opinions.