In business, a company’s bottom line — and most important measurement of success — has traditionally been its profit.
But following a zeitgeist shift that self-described “serial and social entrepreneur” Jason Haber calls “The Great Convergence,” the bottom line is getting a face lift.
Historically, Haber explains in his book “The Business of Good: Social Entrepreneurship and the New Bottom Line,” “capitalism has driven innovation and change on a monumental level. … [But] its focus has been on profits.”
So what happens, he asks, when the world’s problems call for a solution that isn’t entirely profit-driven and our governments are crippled by debt, unable to help?
The answer, it seems, is social enterprise. “Social entrepreneurs have a triple bottom line to consider: people, planet, and profit,” Haber writes.
Haber points to companies like TOMS, Warby Parker, Global Poverty Project, and d.light as examples; companies that have identified a larger purpose or problem, and use traditional business tools to build a scalable solution that impacts the world at large.
“Social entrepreneurship is a model that is changing the world,” he says. “It aims to fix the most entrenched problems facing mankind while building successful and profitable business for its owners … It relies on technology and social media to thrive.”
And Haber says this seismic shift in business is led by millennials, who currently comprise the largest segment of the US workforce. Millennials, who Haber refers to as Generation Now, have lived through the last three decades of turmoil and technological advancement. They’ve come out of this era possessing six distinguishing qualities —including a craving for collaboration and constant access to technology — that reveal why they’re well-positioned to create companies that value both profit and purpose.
“Unlike previous generations, whose pursuits of money and excess are well documented, millennials have far different goals,” Haber says. “It’s no longer simply about making money now.”