Rith, Kong, Ms. Sross, Mrs.Thearny, Chantha and his daughter, Rosana of Craftworks Cambodia, a fair trade social enterprise in Phnom Phen, which upcycles materials including brass bombshells, and cement bags.
For business agility and innovation
As a consultant working with top tier enterprise and government, I am fortunate to work amongst amazing people: thought leaders and gurus in their fields. Nonetheless with the greatest skills and intentions, the size of large organizations leads to bureaucratic challenges and inefficiencies. Governments and corporates battle with middle management power struggles, hoping to enable agility and innovation. We should be investing big budgets in corporate innovation programs and universities should keep creating programs on for better business innovation.
For new business models
With due reason, a shakeup has started in the wake of the global financial crisis. Pillars of our financial system are being challenged by progressive alternatives such as Muhammad Yunus’ “social business.” Social business redirects the fundamental motivation of trade away from economic growth and shareholder dividends, toward a balance of financial and social sustainability. “Social enterprise” is the new black, with entrepreneurs investing their efforts in building enterprises for a positive social impact in society. Meanwhile the case for charity becomes weakened by the struggle to deliver sustainability and accountability.
I believe in a convergence of these business models to provide economic empowerment to small and micro-enterprise. While charity is problematic, and public companies are legally obliged to prioritize wealth, small and micro-enterprise could pave the way to financial and social equanimity. In Australia, we are seeing networks of social enterprises empowering indigenous people through community art centers and other initiatives.
The small and micro-enterprise global solution
High levels of consumption in developed nations is a disturbing contrast to the ongoing plight of the impoverished developing world. Nonetheless, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking in small and micro-enterprise, from the cities of wealthy nations, to those of the rural poor. Through mindfully directing our consumption behavior, our efforts for creating a more equanimous world may be in reach. Whether supporting a local florist, or an artisan across the world.
#GivingTuesday is a chance to think about where we bank our bucks. Do we invest in the coffers of complex bureaucracy and non-transparent supply chains? Or in the potential to create a positive social impact through the unique, intimate, innovative and transparent small and micro-enterprise sector?
Will you join me in supporting small and micro-enterprises? For a day, I challenge you to only trade with small and micro-enterprises. It might just make for a better world.