2012-08-24

Co.Exist

The Rise Of Shared Value

Used to be, companies simply gave money away. Now it’s all about creating social good and business returns with the same projects.

Tayla Bosch is the senior director for social values at Western Union. The company--whose main business is sending money around the world--is also working on trying to create more financial literacy and economic opportunity in underserved populations.

Bosch describes the path of social good in the business space from philanthropy (just giving money away) to cause marketing (aligning your company with a social issue) to corporate responsibility (changing the way a company operates internally). Now, she says, we’re in a stage of shared value, where companies seek to have social impact and business return simultaneously.

Bosch’s tips for aspiring social entrepreneurs:

  1. Strange bedfellows are key. Get outside your comfort zone. Meet with people who aren’t necessarily in your zone of expertise.
  2. Take risks and fail.
  3. Look for good partners, not just good ideas. That person might have other good ideas; investing in people is more important than investing in ideas.

This video is part of series of prominent social innovators, convened by PwC during the 2012 Social Innovation Summit discussing the evolution of social innovation and offering advice to social entrepreneurs. We’ll be featuring them here on Co.Exist.

Here’s a little preview of everyone who will be featured.

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2 Comments

  • JeffMowatt

    I blogged this question recently - Does Creating Shared Value borrow from social; enterprise? Pointing out that the application of proft fo social purpose is not the same as profit from social purpose. I'm not alone in noting the omssion of human rights and the need to tackle corruption.  

  • pdjmoo

    Let us be clear between the difference of an "investment" and social
    good "philanthropy".  A investment expects a return, whereas direct
    philanthropy does not (although tied to stringent outcomes). It is time
    to redefine the labels we are using that walk a fine line between the old
    model of give-freely-philanthropy and the new model of viewing it as an
    "investment".  But let's call a spade a spade and not muddy the waters
    with white washing our intentions or expectations.  As with most things, the new paradigm requires us to revisit our languaging and definitions we throw around so we are all on the same page.