Saturday, 28 September 2013

Making a difference

Making a difference

“Business is not about making money, it is about helping people”

“I want to sell our products so I can make a difference”

These candid quotes from children remind me what entrepreneurship should be about – a means to improve other people’s lives. I have always believed that more than acquiring knowledge and developing one’s intelligence, the true goal of education should be to use one’s intelligences to make a difference.

In the same light, as an advocate of youth entrepreneurship, I believe that the goal of entrepreneurship should not be about accumulating wealth. It should be about using the business enterprise to make difference in the lives of others.

Raising entrepreneurs who make a difference
My passion for raising entrepreneurs is fuelled by my hope that one day our country will be great because we have raised children who will use their entrepreneurial mind to impact the lives of others. this will only happen if we encourage our youth entrepreneurs to do “good work”. Dr. Howard Gardner defines “good work” as excellent, engaging and ethical. It should be excellent in quality, socially responsible and meaningful to its practitioners(Gardner, Csikszentmihalyi and Damon, 2001)

We should aim to raise our children as entrepreneurs who matter. It is normal for young entrepreneurs to choose to enter into business with the hope of making it big. In this materialistic world. The acquisition of wealth has become the end-goal of most people. Many parents push their children into business early in life as a way to get them out of poverty, or to help them pay for their education. There is nothing wrong with making money, but let us guide our young entrepreneurs so that their entrepreneurial journey will be meaningful, rather than just an empty pursuit of wealth.

A new breed of entrepreneurs has entered the playing field – the “social entrepreneurs”. These are individuals with “innovative solutions to society’s most pressing problems” (Schwab Foundation). Social entrepreneurs use their enterprises to improve systems, invent new approaches and create solution to change society for the better. Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, say that: “Success to me is not about the money or the status of the fame, it’s about finding a livelihood that brings me joy, self-sufficiency and a sense of contributing to the world.”

“Making a Difference” should be the “for what?” of business. How do we raise entrepreneurs who will choose to make a difference? 

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