Irene Laochaisri – Good Business Defined
By Irene Laochaisri, Babson Undergraduate Student. This post is the third in a 4 part series building on the conversations at Good Business Fridays by providing a platform for Babson Undergraduate students to reflect on what “Good Business” means or has come to mean to them.
To me, social entrepreneurship is all about constantly engaging with the world in a caring and respectful way. The process itself demands careful attention: it is through finding, exploring and defining how we can enrich the lives of individuals and communities (particularly through the context of our personal strengths and interests) that we can really be innovative in the way we interact with and bring value to society and the environment.
This interpretation of social entrepreneurship lies at the basis of what good business means to me: that one of the most fundamental considerations a business must take into account in the development of its mission is the socioeconomic value the business will create. This creation is independent from, though still very much related to, the profit a business aims to make. To me, doing good business is more about making socially entrepreneurial efforts an integral aspect of a business venture and less about the forms of social outreach which, more than anything, occur as an afterthought, a “we-should-probably” – an act of community service which lacks real depth and sustainability.
It is for this reason that social entrepreneurship is such a significant foundation for doing good business, as it encourages a thoughtful and genuine engagement between businesses and society through a robust creative process. Most importantly, because social entrepreneurship is carried out best when it is rooted within our personal interests, it is more likely that we will genuinely care about the process and therefore, create greater and more sustainable business and social value.