“Any business that just makes a profit is not a good business.” Henry Ford
Purpose is a powerful thing – without a purpose greater than ourselves, we feel the weight of the meaninglessness of life. Perhaps that is why most innovators and entrepreneurs are driven by a cause, a grand mission that is far more important to them than the salary or even the prestige. If entrepreneurship is the vehicle, purpose is both the fuel in the engine and the marker on the map with the end destination. Purpose driven business not only makes a profit; it can change the world while it does.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]If entrepreneurship is the vehicle, purpose is the fuel in the engine.[/clickandtweet]
Elon Musk & Purpose Driven Business
Take, for example, Elon Musk, the 44-year old CEO of electric car maker Tesla Motors. He is challenged by the fact that no American entrepreneur has established a car company since Walter Chrysler did in 1925. Electric cars cannot become affordable quickly because they are limited by their batteries, which restrict vehicle speed and distance. Says Musk in a Fast Company article, “…unlike computer chips, which have improved wildly over the past decade, batteries have proved stubbornly resistant to huge jumps in performance and cost efficiency…” But the rise of Tesla has been stunning—and it is driven by one guy on a mission.
Musk has a purpose much bigger than an efficient car. “The goal has not been: Let’s make cars,” Musk says, “The goal has been: We need to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy.” He has made it his mission to rid the world of fossil fuels and save the planet.
Whether Musk will be as successful with this mission as he has been with Ebay and Solar City remains yet-to-be-seen, he represents a creative generation that is driven by the desire to make a difference. Empty profits won’t satisfy them. In the words of the editor of Fast Company, “Mission will Trump Money” for the next generation of workers. Having a purpose associated with work and being engaged in a job which brings purpose will be paramount.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]This is a creative generation driven by the desire to make a difference.[/clickandtweet]
Business Freeing Sex Slaves
Today I received a letter from a couple running a business in a large Asian city. The wife was an employee of mine before she married Rick and joined him in his food business venture. The letter showed a photo of seven women who had been rescued from life in the brothel. Several of these women are now being prepared for management positions as the business has exploded and expansion plans are in the works. Rick makes it clear that[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””] they are driven by a much higher purpose than mere business[/clickandtweet]: “We want to see more women leave the sex-trade in 2016. We want to create more jobs and revenue for our city.”
Their business is a purpose driven business: freeing women from sex trafficking is a huge motivator to grow and expand their business.
Creating Market Access for the Underrepresented
Jessica Honegger, founder of Noonday Collection (a company with $12 million in sales in 2014) is on a mission. In reference to her fast-growing company (which ranks 3rd on Inc’s list of the 50 Fastest Growing Women Led Companies in America) she says in an article by Christianity Today, “There are really talented people living in resource-poor areas of the world, and all they need is access to a marketplace. And I’m going to start something for them.” Her purpose is to create market access for underrepresented people.
Musk has a purpose; Honegger has a purpose; my friends in Asia have a purpose. They work for a cause. Businesses served by organizations like Agora Enterprises have a cause – a driving life-force that fuels them to innovate new products, conquer new challenges, enter into new markets.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Social enterprises have a cause – a driving life-force that fuels them.[/clickandtweet]
Our businesses have a mission. Some call it social enterprise. We like to call it transformational business. Because that is our mission – to transform people, transform businesses, and ultimately, transform communities through the power of entrepreneurship.
We all want to live for a higher purpose. It’s woven into our DNA as humans. If you want to make meaningful contributions to the world around you, partner with us by supporting a project or business that is transforming their community on our social enterprise crowdfunding site, InvestnUs. Join the movement today!