Friday, May 27, 2011

The Path From Charity to Profit -

The Path From Charity to Profit - "Kedai Balitaku, which usually goes by the name KeBal, aims to become a chain of street carts selling low-priced healthy food to children.

KeBal is a social business — one that exists primarily to achieve a social goal. It’s easy to see why the social businesses model has become a popular strategy for attacking the problems of the poor. The impulse to create a business rather than employ traditional nonprofit work comes partly out of the notion — right or wrong — that charity creates dependency and that without the discipline of the market it often doesn’t work."

Social businesses fall roughly into two different categories. Some try to employ people who wouldn’t otherwise have jobs: for example, fair trade groups that buy crafts from indigenous women to sell in wealthy countries. Others provide goods or services to people who otherwise can’t afford them

“There’s always the dichotomy,” said Muench. “You’re thinking about profits and sustainability, and you’re thinking about the humanitarian issues. It can become an internal battle. We’re always inclined to shift back into humanitarian need but have to remember that to be sustainable you have to have a hard business mentality.”

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