Making a Difference as a Business
In May, I had the opportunity to attend a Business As Mission (BAM) Conference in Romania, where we listened to business people from around the world sharing about their unique approach to sustainable business with a focus on a “quadruple bottom line: spiritual, economic, social and environmental transformation.”
I want to share 3 primary takeaways from this conference that inspired and encouraged me:
- We can all make a difference no matter who we are or what size our organisation or business is
- Networking and meeting with people is mutually beneficial
- Perseverance is the key
Hearing from charismatic entrepreneurial leaders on stage as well as other participants around the table, I was reminded that we can all make a difference, whether it’s a multi-million-dollar business employing hundreds of people or a small organisation working with volunteers.
One such speaker shared how he sourced products from the remote jungles of the Amazon to make footwear. His company buy their materials (rubber and cotton) at a fair wage from the remote communities and then also return $5 of each shoe purchase back to developing the infrastructure of the communities and creating a lasting impact through health care and education systems.
Then there was a lady from Bucharest who began English Language tutoring for children in her town some years ago; she now employs 10 people and is very generous financially to her community.
And the gentleman who established a coffin-making workshop in a remote location in Asia to provide employment in a low socioeconomic community. He not only provides employment but makes sure that the material used to build the coffins is sustainably produced.
Encouraged by these stories of change through business, I look at ways that I can make an impact in and through my organisation.
As leaders, I believe we are responsible for making sure our day to day business is carried out ethically and with sustainability in mind—sustainability in both human resources and in the environment.
Introverts like me often find it hard to put ourselves out there and network, but making the effort to meet those around you at conferences often provides opportunities and connections that can benefit your organisation. It can also be immensly satisfying to connect others with one another for their mutual benefit. Who knows what can come out of a meeting; a new business partnership or an innovation or even friendship – but always some kind of an impact.
How do we go out and build on that impact? Benjamin Disraeli once said, “The secret of success is constancy to purpose.”
“As leaders, I believe we are responsible for making sure our day to day business is carried out ethically and with sustainability in mind—sustainability in both human resources and in the environment.”
There is no such thing as overnight success – anything worth doing is going to take constancy of purpose and that purpose in an ethical business should be the “quadruple bottom line: spiritual, economic, social and environmental transformation.”
With a new financial year upon us at World Hope, I am encouraged to persevere in our mission of working with vulnerable and exploited communities to alleviate poverty, suffering, and injustice. It is a big mission, but one worthy of this constancy of purpose, and one that has sustainability at the forefront as we work to fulfill the mission with market-based and community-driven solutions that empower, protect, and build resiliency. And while we are not at conferences networking every day, I am looking forward to continuing to build upon the community we have surrounding and supporting this organisation and to pursuing and building new partnerships that can further our impact. Thank you for joining us in our mission.
WHI Australia has been working since 2001 in achieving its mission and vision: providing those in need with opportunity, dignity, and hope so they can possess the tools for change in themselves, their family and their community and doing so through innovative, environmentally conscious, and transformative projects including the Mushroom Culitvation project in Cambodia, health programmes in Papua New Guinea, and much more.
For more information or questions, please contact us at 1800-967-534 or by email.