The Business Solution to Global Social Issues
Can business be harnessed to eradicate the menace of global social issues, like global poverty? Authors Paul Polak and Mal Warwick, in their book The Business Solution to Poverty, have presented a compelling and hopeful contention that it can, but not just any business. Such a business must "set a 10-year goal of building a customer base of at least 100 million, achieving revenues of $10 billion or more per year, and realizing sufficient profitability to attract both indigenous and international commercial investors while minimizing its environmental impact to the greatest extent possible." Many will consider these to be lofty goals, but tackling massive, systemic, global inequities will likely require broad systematic and concerted effort. A for-profit business that achieves the stated goal may sustain operations sufficiently to curb the ravages of poverty over time and raise the economic well-being of billions.
At Made for Freedom, we are often asked why we are a for-profit business, rather than a not-for-profit organization. We agree with the above authors "that lack of economic sustainability dooms most well-intentioned attempts to help the poor" or any global group of people. We desire to build an enterprise to help marginalized women that will be self-sustaining and not require an annual influx of grant funds. As well, we hope to empower these women for the same reasons as "that the poor need to be viewed as customers, not as objects of pity and recipients of charity," so that their dignity remains intact. In addition, contemporary culture is increasingly sanctioning that it is "equally legitimate for a business to dedicate itself to addressing a social or environmental issue as it is to produce a particular product or service. And nothing prevents businesses that are addressing social or environmental issues from earning attractive profits doing so. We're hardly the only people who feel this way, to judge from the large numbers of young folks all over the world who are emerging from business schools and universities to form new businesses expressly designed both to pursue a social or environmental mission and to turn a profit."
We do not advocate that business is a global savior but rather a powerful tool which should be used more frequently to alleviate global problems. Governments, charities, and INGOs all have their parts as well, but businesses have particular abilities to scale, reach and sustain more powerfully and efficiently, which will enable them to impact places and issues that non-business entities cannot. Made for Freedom desires to see the end of the global human sex trafficking trade, and we believe businesses, specifically in the fashion industry, are well suited to raise awareness and to create economic incentives to eradicate this global social problem. By purchasing a pair of our Creabelis, you help produce dignified employment, job skills and training, providing better options for rescued women that will allow them to support themselves, their families, and their communities and to not be drawn back into sexual slavery. We encourage all consumers to consider how their purchases impact the world. We are proud of how our business is making a difference!
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