What is Shared Value?
“The solution lies in the principle of shared value, which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. Businesses must reconnect company success with social progress. Shared value is a new way to achieve economic success. It is not on the margin of what companies do but at the center. We believe that it can give rise to the next major transformation of business thinking. A growing number of companies known for their hard-nosed approach to business—such as GE, Google, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Unilever, and Wal-Mart—have already embarked on important efforts to create shared value by reconceiving the intersection between society and corporate performance.” – Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer, Creating Shared Value, Harvard Business Review, january 2011
Where do we get our inspiration to create shared value?
From social entrepeneurs….
Social entrepreneurs are mission-driven. Their primary goal is to generate social value by mitigating a social problem or market failure, or meeting a social need or challenge. Equally, social entrepreneurs are market-oriented. They pursue goals in an entrepreneurial manner, generating their own revenues to sustain themselves.
Social entrepreneurs consistently identify and respond to societal needs long before the bulk of the marketplace acknowledges them. They are on the cutting edge when it comes to dealing with certain needs, and as a consequence they are innovating as a matter of course. Entrepreneurs are an important engine for innovation in society. But as a subset, social entrepreneurs are especially important. Social entrepreneurs bring “new to the world” products and services at nearly twice the rate of entrepreneurs without a social mission.
And once launched, social enterprises continue to implement new-to-the-market innovations at remarkably high rates, in particular in the domains of services and processes.
Social enterprises are predominantly active in a wide range of important, societal domains – notably, the environment, health and well-being, development and community services, education, migration, ethical goods and services, poverty, and social inclusion.