If you were at the head of a multi-million dollar company, what would you do with all that cash? Would you buy another private jet or would you use those resources to make the world a better place for all of us? Look at how Bill Gates is now using his great wealth to create a better world for all those still suffering from malaria. Look at Chade-Meng Tan from Google. Look at the bank for the poor started by Professor Yunus. It’s profitable to do business with compassion!
Social Business is the answer. A social business is like any other profit business but all the profits are used to further it’s reach. The success of the business is measured by how much of a social impact it has and not how many dividends are being paid to the shareholders.
For a social business to work it needs 4 things:
- A good idea
The first is obvious. No business would work without a good idea. There needs to be a demand for whatever you’re offering. Now note that since this is a green website, the idea must be a green idea. So if your idea is to burn down government buildings (one extreme) or cut down the forest in the area (the other extreme) then please don’t post it. It has to be a green business.
Secondly and possibly most importantly, people. You might have a good idea but have no business skills or you just don’t have the technical know how to make it a reality. Maybe you just don’t have a place to host your idea. This is where the sites real power lies. Let’s say that you have a green energy idea (drawing on my own concept) but you don’t know much about electrical engineering or mechanical engineering but you know the concept is sound. So push your idea and see if there’s someone willing to help you out. Sure you might not be able to pay them for their help but if the project pans out and starts showing a profit you all get something, right? It’s important to remember that even though we’re doing these projects to help the world we still need to make a living. I’m not going to dictate the terms of the agreement. Hey who knows, maybe people will just help you for the greater good. After all these are the type of people that are drawn to these projects. Just remember that if this happens, to return the favour. Another project might pop up that needs your help.
Resources. No matter how pure your intentions or how many people support your project. You will need some resources. Now this is closely tied to point 2. People might want to help out but don’t have the time to get involved personally so money is an obvious way. This can be in the form of donations or angel investors. Again the terms of the arrangement is between the parties involved. Don’t be afraid to ask around, others might have had to go through the same process. We are here to help one another.
Compassion is the key to changing the world, putting aside your own selfish needs for the greater good. That is the one thing that makes a social business different from a normal for-profit business. Remember it’s not just putting aside your quest for money but also your quest for power and fame. Sometimes people have good intentions but they want to take all the credit and this makes them falter. To make this endeavour work you must let go of your basic human attachments. Let go of your ego. We are all sharing this world after all.