One of my points to ponder from the recently concluded 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit aka #GES2015 was from Daymond John, the founder and CEO of urban clothing line, FUBU which he founded at the tender age of 20. Daymond is also a co-host of the shark tank show. One of the questions he was asked in Citizen TV one-on-one interview was whether he had any plans to invest in Kenya. Among the things he looks out for in investment opportunities, he looks for “things have some level of a social cause” a double bottom line. This is so that in case the business doesn’t work out, there is something else beneficial out of it. This is after he had mentioned that he closed down FUBU 3 times when he ran out of money and reopened every time he got some money.
We tend to think that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a thing for the big companies. Many of our smaller businesses tend to only be are profit driven. I would challenge us to look beyond the money, the profit and consider making a positive social impact in our own little way…But again, there is the Triple Bottom line, this looks at what impact the business has on the environment.
A phrase coined in 1994 by John Elkington, triple bottom line is intended to advance the goal of sustainability in business practices as stated by the Investopedia. The three measures include: profit (the economic value created by the company, or the economic benefit to the surrounding community and society), people (the fair and favorable business practices regarding labor and the community in which the company conducts its business) and planet (the use of sustainable environmental practices and the reduction of environment impact).
In his article, ‘Having a business purpose beyond profit’, Torben Rick highlighted the Top 7 good reasons not to use profit as primary business purpose as follows:
- Profit is an output and a symptom of success, not the cause
- Profit is temporary and can be wiped out in an instant
- In tough times, profit can be hard to come by
- You need more purpose than profit to make it through
- Profit doesn’t motivate the salaried staff who make success happen
- Customers don’t appreciate being seen just for their revenue
- Consumers are increasingly focusing on values and contribution to society when choosing who to do business with
For true sustainability then, we should make our business considerations beyond profits.
To your success!
Image credit: http://www.torbenrick.eu