Why Social Enterprise?

Just when you think you can’t mix business and pleasure, something magical happens and turns your head upside down. I was deep in the world of real estate when a co-worker told me about a cool company doing incredible work. She said they help people. She said they care for the environment. She said they have a strong belief in social change. Best of all, they were hiring! It was a new world for us, having just spent several years working as paralegals when the housing market was about to burst. It sounded exciting so I applied. That was 2008. Since then, I’ve always worked for a social enterprise and preach the gospel of B-Corps on a regular basis.

Why am I so passionate about social enterprise? Because I believe in a world where companies can make a profit while making a difference. We’ve all heard the story of TOMS Shoes (and now TOMS Coffee!). It’s stories like these that make me passionate about work. It makes work never feel like work. You mean I get a paycheck to change the world? Sign me up!

I’ve seen the movement expand overseas to places like Melbourne and Christchurch. I’ve experienced the thick of it in Midtown Manhattan. All over the globe, a movement has started and I want to be a part of it. These days, I’m working again for founding B-Corp member Better World Books, planning an incredible event at the end of April. As an online bookseller, they are changing the world, one book at a time. They believe in the everlasting impact of books (as do I). They are committed to giving back and are donating 50,000 children’s books to the Atlanta community.

I won’t pretend work doesn’t come with stress. Deadlines, meetings, time sheets, late nights, early mornings. It’s all part of the “job”. But when your work makes a tangible difference, when you see your impact at your fingertips, it’s all worth it in the end. 

I can really appreciate a business who sees that growing for growth sake isn’t the business model they want to follow. A good business understands that without a good product or service, greatness in the social realm cannot be achieved. Businesses that don’t depend on a social mission alone (or government and grant funding) are the true change in the world we live in. These kind of companies think big, beyond profit, and invest in a brighter future I want to be a part of.

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