May 27, 2016
In business, there’s a lot of emphasis placed on making quotas and projecting past profit expectations. And while these goals are all well and good, entrepreneurship could be affected in ways previously unseen by industry leaders. When it comes to business, is there really a valid place for conscious entrepreneurship?
What Is Conscious Entrepreneurship?
Conscious entrepreneurship describes businesses and startups who place emphasis on benevolent and altruistic goals other than just profit-making. Whether the business focus is in financial literacy, gender equality, or greener initiatives, businesses that operate with a conscious mindset have a higher response rate with consumers.
Yet, when it comes to the overall success of these conscious businesses, how do they fare overall? It varies. Companies like Curriculet, an education tech company, find themselves vulnerable to low profit margins after only a few years.
“The most provocative technology spurs us to change how we live and work,” as reported in this piece on Curriculet’s closing by writer Betsy Corcoran.
Perhaps the questions isn’t whether or not having a conscious mission automatically dooms businesses for failure, but whether the impact of the business – conscious or not – can create a long-lasting impact for consumers and the industry it operates in.
How Conscious Businesses Can Create Longevity
Being a conscious business is a worthy cause, and can be a prime example of how profit and intention don’t have to be disparate goals. The need is there – as consumers grow more aware of the issues that directly impact their lives, they respond stronger to businesses that resonate with them about issues they care about. In fact, the Conscious Business Institute reports that “up to 90 percent of the work force is disengaged” between the businesses they push to create and the fulfillment that consumers and entrepreneurs feel.
Forbes contributor Patrick Hanlon writes on the impact that “conscious capitalism” will have on the market:
“Rather than seeing business as a tube [money in, money out],” says [Jeff] Klein [a trustee in Conscious Capitalism, Inc.], “we look at business as an ecosystem of interdependent interrelated stakeholders. For stakeholder management, the business has to produce profits over time, but that doesn’t mean that’s its sole purpose. For the business to be sustainable, flourish, and be resilient, it needs to focus on the whole rather than its parts.”
In the end, the message is clear – it’s possible to be profitable and make a difference in the world. We just need to begin seeing these solutions as highly compatible, instead of a disparate means to an end.
Image Credit to Helena Eriksson / Flickr.
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