By Sangeeta Waldron — Social enterprises are a new way of doing business, where, by selling goods and services in the open market, the social enterprises reinvest the money they make back into their business or the local community to tackle social problems, improve people's lives, support communities and help the environment. It’s accepted that when a social enterprise profits, society profits. Millennials believe the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, with a focus on improving society among the most important things it should seek to achieve.
This year saw the launch of Inventshift
, a new online platform that is a global resource for both suppliers and consumers of positive impact services. It has over 1100 businesses in 20 cities around the world and aims to be active in all countries by 2022. Both suppliers and consumers can, with a click of a button, sell and buy through the platform. It accepts all kinds of businesses to ensure that everyone has the chance to contribute to a better society. For every booking completed, it donates 5% to its social good trust, called The Inventshift Fund
. It’s expanding continuously and any service-based business can apply to join for free.
The solutions social enterprises offer are supposed to be innovative, unique, people and environment friendly, and cost effectiveness. All of these factors are challenges to the sustainability of social enterprises. Yet the ones that are able to scale are the ones that are able to create a huge impact! They do not work the way corporate setups or private firms do, and can offer a flexible working environment where employment may be both short or long term and may specially targeted to a specific workgroup, geographic community or to people with disabilities.
A great and famous example of a social enterprise, is the Grameen Bank
, a microfinance scheme that began in Bangladesh when Mohammad Yunus gave $27 to 42 people. A small investment began a movement, one where sustainable businesses are grown from tiny amounts of capital. In 2006, Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Microfinance set off a series of other interests in business models that serve the greater global good.
Instead of focusing on social, mobile, or local initiatives alone, many social entrepreneurs often incorporate various technology platforms into their work to achieve some serious social transformation. And that’s exactly what Inventshift is pushing and is passionate about: showcasing positive impact.
Photo Credit: Inventshift