Over 1,400 social enterprises heard how a new “millennial way of business” could change the way the economy works.
Speaking at the Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh, cross-bench member of the House of Lords Victor Adebowale, warned that new research shows traditional models of business are out of step with what younger generations want.
The Deloitte Millennials’ survey shows a clear, negative shift in their feelings about traditional business’ motivations and ethics. Only a minority of millennials believe businesses behave ethically (48 percent vs 65 percent in 2017) and that business leaders are committed to helping improve society (47 percent vs 62 percent in 2017).
Claire Carpenter, who founded a social enterprise and one of Europe’s first co-working businesses, The Melting Pot, commented:
The Social Enterprise World Forum should act as a wake up call to those firms that focus all their efforts on profit. A more millennial way of business is the social enterprise model, where organisations focus on social impact just as much as making money, and re-invest their profits into their social mission.
In Scotland, where two-thirds of social enterprises are run by women, the government has committed that during the next decade, social enterprise will become widely accepted across the country from rural areas to the inner cities.
Scottish Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell told The Rooftop:
Edinburgh welcomed 1,400 delegates from around the world to the Social Enterprise World Forum, ten years on from when the city held that first global gathering.
It was a privilege to be part of the Forum and to get a real sense of the enthusiasm and passion the social enterprise sector has to not only create new businesses, but to do so with social purpose and a determination to make a positive difference.
Scotland’s eco-system of support for social enterprise is recognised as world leading and while Scotland was able to show-case its social enterprise journey, there was also the opportunity to learn from good practice from around the world.
The Social Enterprise World Forum 2019 will be hosted by Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where, according to the British Council, an estimated 55,000 social enterprises exist. Each enterprise employs the equivalent of 21 full-time staff, with more than half led by under 35 year olds and three quarters set up in the last eight years.
Minister Campbell added:
I was particularly honoured to ‘pass the baton’ to the Trade Minister from Ethiopia as Addis Ababa looks forward to hosting next year’s event.