Social businesses are changing the world

Social businesses are changing the world

By Irene Tato. Director of Communications at Laminar Pharma

Society needs social change agents who are committed to creating a better world than the one they found. It is naïve to continue to think that government programs and philanthropic donations will solve the world’s problems, especially those plaguing the most vulnerable. Prof. Michael Porter already spoke of commitment to society in his proposal of creating shared value — inviting the private sector to renew its processes and business activities, taking into consideration their social context.

We want to change the world by driving a business revolution of purpose.

Today, social policy is already part of our companies’ strategic goals. At Laminar Pharma we are committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, like hundreds of other private companies that serve a social purpose, because we are convinced that the so-called impact economy has already shown that it contributes to achieving these Goals. The SDGs are a global commitment or consensus signed by 193 countries on the social and environmental challenges we need to face to shape the world we want to live in by the year 2030.

Companies set goals to sustainably improve their own social environment.

In the United Kingdom alone, 7000 social entrepreneurs create world-changing companies every year — they have seen in the SDGs a business opportunity to improve and differentiate their value proposition. A very clarifying testimony was put forward by Larry Fink, CEO of Black Rock, who included this request in his letter to executives and business managers during 2018: “Society increasingly is turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges.”

He asks business leaders to champion social change agents’ ideas and to support the emergence of so-called Social Enterprises that seek to generate a positive impact in the world. I reiterate that it is social entrepreneurship that is changing the world, thanks to the work of hundreds of changemakers, moral leaders, social companies and organizations. With their strategic alliances, each year they develop social initiatives with a real positive impact on inequality, socio-economic issues and environmental problems which specifically affect the most vulnerable populations.

Seeking moral leaders who defend doing what is right, not what is easy.

Success for social enterprises is not merely financial, as human development generated thanks to their strategies is also included in their global vision of success. An inspiration in impact investment is the pioneering American woman Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, an NGO that is truly innovative in its approach. Acumen launched a venture philanthropy (non-profit risk philanthropy) aimed at causing a moral revolution in the business world.

The NGO allocated a “Patient Capital” fund to invest in social enterprise projects with the capacity to create systemic changes in the long term — hence “patient”— until they can check how such projects provide sustainable solutions to the most complex problems that society and the environment suffer today.

Social injustice can be fought from the companies that defend a model aimed at sustainability, innovation and social impact.