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October 24th, 2013

A Different "Take" on Contribution

By Ron Nakamoto

With $20 trillion in resources, Big Business (i.e., large corporations) dwarfs Government ($3 trillion) and Non-Profits ($1 trillion) in scale.  In the video below, Michael Porter, one of the pioneers in business strategy, asserts correctly, I believe, that businesses make a profit by solving problems.  Yet, large "grand challenges" as Peter Diamandis has called them, persist today (i.e., clean water, poverty, renewable energy, etc.).

 But what about the role and the contribution of small, entrepreneurial businesses?  How can we assess the potential impact of businesses with smaller financial "resources" but potentially large non-financial resources (in particular, the potential for innovation)?

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Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems | Video on TED.com
Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society’s biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he’s biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit — which lets that solution grow.

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