our inherent belief that humans are selfish and greedy and can’t make a profit and help a social cause at the same time. Clearly, the whole idea of corporate philanthropy and social entrepreneurship is quite complex. While businesses are by no means required to donate to or help social causes, more and more are either starting to donate to causes, implementing sustainable measures or trying to adopt the for-profit social venture model because of pressure from consumers and regulators. This is one of the reasons that I try to stay mindful of choosing businesses that are socially responsible. At the end of the day, if the only difference between a company that is actively helping society and another that exists only to maximize profits is a couple of cents or even a few dollars, I would rather support the socially responsible business. As more and more people start to adopt this mindset, businesses will inevitably have to start participating in programs that create social changes simply because that is what their consumer base wants. This is particularly important in our current society since businesses are starting to acquire more and more power. As the great Uncle Ben so eloquently said, “With great power comes great responsibility” and this certainly rings true for corporations and businesses. As the power and influence of businesses continue to grow, it is their responsibility to make as much of an effort to ensure that the impact they have on society is a positive one.
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- Spring '14
- American Cancer Society, for-profit social venture