SOCIAL BUSINESS AND CSR – SAME, SAME BUT DIFFERENT?
HARDCORE BUSINESS OR HEARTCORE BUSINESS?
Both social entrepreneurs and commercial companies have the opportunity to create social value, regardless of what their motives and primary goal may be.
But when it comes to credibility and integrity, this is where purpose and motives play a significant role this is what gives companies their ³licence to operate². It also closely linked to social innovation and persistence.
Because while many commercial companies usually operate under demands of creating short-term financial returns, the social entrepreneur works with a much more long-term goal, and is willing to go much further before financial results are achieved.
In my own company, it is our experience that many social entrepreneurs often struggle with incorporating business into the core of their social innovation and with scaling their social business models. The commercial companies, on the other hand, struggle with putting social responsibility into the core of their business and into the heart of their organisation, enabling them to shift from CSR to CSI (corporate social innovation).
FOCUS ON THE EFFECT
An obvious opportunity for both parties is to enter into a so-called shared value partnership, which is also the reason why we have created a development programme to help both camps achieve success with their respective missions no matter whether they are working to make more money or to make the world into a better place.
Cynics may argue that the reason why commercial companies may want to enter into these kinds of shared value partnerships is because of risk management or a profit motive. – And so what? To me, it’s key to focus on the ultimate effect of their actions, rather than on what drives them.
As Dalai Lama has allegedly once said freely quoted it is better to give with an impure heart rather than not giving at all, and then maybe the pure heart might come along the way.