Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Why I am blogging: - My belief in the Social Economy

Well, I have finally made it into the digital world and so I guess it is only right to say something about myself, my business and why I have decided to blog. 

Well it certainly isn't because I consider myself to be a writer, far from it. It is commonly accepted that most people have “one good book in them” but I’m not sure I even have one blog, which is why I have been putting this off for so long. My reason is that I have a fundamental belief that it is possible to make money AND enrich society, I am a slightly eccentric, obsessive analyst who wishes to extend the many conversations I have with people who share this belief and recognise it to be more relevant today than ever, as the social economy struggles to deal with the sheer scale of the problems it faces. The problem isn't with the profit model but the uses to which that profit is put and how it is acquired.

I accept that this is a controversial approach and that currently the social economy occupies a separate camp to the traditional for profit business world. This separation is caused by the different business models used and in particular the reluctance of many social entrepreneurs to use business models without asset locks as a tool for locking in the social purpose.

There desperately needs to be a radical rethinking of how we define, manage and measure social businesses. To quote Cliff Prior, CEO of Unltd, a charity that supports social entrepreneurs in the UK.

"However good charities and social enterprises are, there is a big gap between the available solutions and the scale of problems in society. If we can find another set of people and methods by which that gap can be closed, that's massively important."

We need to develop ways to allow entrepreneurs who want to commit their businesses to the social economy to do so using a business model which can accept equity investment and allow for distribution of profit.  I am passionately committed to the development of systems which enable them to lock in their social purpose by other forms of commitment and their reporting systems.

I hope this blog will also reflect my thirst for learning and continued investment in achieving a greater understanding of the need for this triple bottom line, which demonstrates consideration for the impact of an organisation’s activities on both the environment and wider society. It seems common sense to me that by embracing all stakeholders, the business will improve public perception of the its activities and products, increasing both profitability and sustainability.  

I am keen to connect with anyone who shares this passion for a more sustainable and social approach to business and is actively helping organisations quantify and value their reputation and the social and environmental capital they create.