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Social Enterprise from 1984

We all know the song, we all know the need, but have you ever stopped to think about the story?

Bob Geldof, former front man for the Boomtown Rats was watching TV when he saw the plight of Ethiopians dealing with what was then, an unprecedented famine. As he wrestled with how to help them he did something in 1984 that today, is becoming more and more common place while being recognized as the future of how to help people.

He DIDN’T look to his own pockets, but instead looked to his talent, his connections and his network. Assembling in record speed a song, artists and a studio, to record something that could be sold, to raise what would ultimately be almost $75,000,000 in today’s dollars while costing those who helped create it nothing more than time.

Social Enterprise is a fairly new phrase, but the concept was proved right there in that moment. Take what is traditionally a business idea, and use the profits to change lives and the world.

As more companies recognize their responsibility isn’t only to help society through job creation and the product or service they provide (and the resulting benefit to others), we’re going to witness an incredible, growing movement over this next decade that will result in more tangible, sustainable solutions that help lift others up, which in turn will help lift local economies up, all while also helping ourselves.

When I created WorkLodge in 2014, I’d never heard of a phrase like ‘Social Enterprise’, I just knew we could build a business and use the profits to help others. If you haven’t thought about how your business can do something bigger, I’d encourage you to look around, get to know other people and groups (Conscious Capitalism is a good place to start) and see how you can help lift others out of poverty and into prosperity. It’s the future of business.