Are profitability and effecting social change mutually exclusive? Not in 2031.
Social entrepreneurs will be applying innovative solutions to pressing social problems to achieve sustainable profit margins while effecting social good.
“Challenges like poverty, hunger and the environment have been around for some time,” said Craig Keilburger, co-founder of Free the Children and its social enterprise arm, Me to We.
“Traditional approaches have yet to create systemic and sustainable change. We need a fresher, more unique approach — social entrepreneurship — to tackle these issues.”
Based on this need, it’s predictable that within one generation, social enterprise will become a third sector working parallel to profit and non-for-profit sectors.
Annalea Krebs, founder of ethicalDeal, an online company that uses the group buying model to make green mainstream, agrees that we’re at a tipping point.
“The demand for products and services that are healthy for the planet and the community is increasing. More and more companies are demonstrating that you can make profit with purpose.” In 20 years, this will be the norm.
The first step, said Keilburger, is to make the spirit of entrepreneurialism a part of everyday life through the school system, development opportunities and institutes like MaRS, a not-for-profit that works to commercialize publicly funded medical research with the help of private enterprise.
“People are tired of business as usual. The hope is that this time, we can and will do things differently,” said Krebs. “Social entrepreneurs have always believed this.”
And in 2031, this belief will be a reality.
It will be this collaboration that will lead to more sustainable and viable solutions to the economic and social problems we face today.
– Tarini Chandak, 18, is a first-year Accounting and Financial Management Student at the University of Waterloo, and is part of Shopanthropic.