5 insights from social entrepeneurs on how business can lift people

5 insights from social entrepeneurs on how business can lift people

 As one participant put it, “wouldn’t it be great if ‘billionaire’ was re-defined to mean someone who had improved 1 billion lives?”



Thus ends this insightful article by Mark Cheng, titled, ‘5 Insights from Social Entrepeneurs on how Business can life People out of Poverty’ which seeks to answer the question: 

How do you profitably sell to a customer who earns less than $2 per day?

It begins with realising the enormity of the group of people who are living on such limited resources and then moves on to suggest that reaching these people has to do with both immense potential as well as a kind of moral obligation.

Ashoka’s Globalizer initiative, in partnership with the eBay Foundation convened 20 of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in Chennai, India, for three days in early March. The Ashoka Globalizer on Economic Inclusion provided a robust forum for sharing and improving their strategies to scale their impact.

A list of some of the strategies that these groups are using to have a deep and transformative impact [and really go and read the whole article to dig a little deeper into each one] follows:

[1] Recruit and Empower Local Changemakers

[2] Build a Movement, not just Marketshare

[3] Embrace Competition

[4] Motivate with Mission, not Money

[5] Maximise Distribution, not profits

David Green, founder of multiple medical programs and device companies that provide radically lower cost products and services for low-income people,  coined the phrase ‘Empathic Capitalism, saying, Business can be the great engine that lifts billions out of poverty, but it needs to be a new kind of values-driven business, where profit is the enabler, but not the sole motive. We’re demonstrating that companies can succeed which seek to serve as many customers as possible, while covering their costs, rather than maximizing profit for its own sake.”

This is an immensely huge challenge, but some like Jordan Kassalow [VisionSpring] have started to pioneer the way and do it well, leaving a great example for others to follow.

I guess the real question of how effective this will be relates directly to how people and companies are able to move past the bottom line and be able to see and grasp hold of the wider concept of global transformation and betterment.

Brett Anderson

Brett "Fish" Anderson from South Africa (the country) is passionate about seeing the church live out what it says it believe in all areas of life. He is married to the beautiful Val (tbV) and hates raiSINs with a different kind of passion.