Can businesses be both profitable and enable positive change? The new generation of young professionals will insist upon it, according to a report from Chivas Regal and experts at the Skoll Centre, Saïd Business School.
The report – one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind – yields some timely statistics for business leaders everywhere: 87% of the 2,000 young professionals surveyed are motivated to work for companies that create some kind of positive social impact, 73% want a job that allows them to make a positive impact in their local community, while 70% say they will seek to start their own business in the next 5-10 years.
These results also reflect the ascent of the “conscious consumer”. Young, worldly shoppers are now having a major impact on global business, leading to social responsibility increasingly becoming a crucial part of any large company’s long-term strategy. “The implications of this, for large businesses and brands will vary; some may see it as a threat, while others will see this as an opportunity to reinvent themselves,” says Soushiant Zangenehpour, the co-author of the report.
Likewise, for brands and businesses to attract young professionals into their workforces, they will need to do more than simply provide a pay cheque. Generation Y’s appetite for more meaningful work and social entrepreneurism is clear. To reach the top talent, businesses will have to take steps to create positive change and provide employees with opportunities to create shared value in society. Larger, more traditional organisations are also under increasing pressure to bring smaller social enterprises and start-ups into their supply chains.
Attitudes have changed swiftly over the last few years. This trend shows we’re now heading towards a better way of doing business that puts people and planet alongside profit. In the future, doing good will simply be good business.
This all provides ample ammunition for the entrepreneurs set to enter The Venture: a global search for the brightest start-ups that use business to create positive change. The most promising entrants will have a chance to win a share of $1Million in funding, receive mentoring from world famous business experts, and take part in a business masterclass in Silicon Valley. Richard Black, Global Brand Director for Chivas Regal, says: “There is a growing recognition amongst a new generation of future leaders that business can be a force for good. That’s why we are getting behind this movement by supporting aspiring social entrepreneurs. We hope that by acting in this way, we will inspire a future generation to do the same and ultimately to make a difference in the lives of others.”