For decades people have had a particular concept when it comes to business. This concept is that a business has to be either one that is designed to make money, or one that is designed to help the public and tackle different social issues. For example when it comes to practicing law there are basically two different types of law firms. One law firm focuses on billing clients and making money. While they may do some work pro bono, the vast majority of the work that they do is profit based. On the other side of the coin you can have a law firm that is completely and totally nonprofit. They focus on taking cases that they feel will help fight a social injustice, and they will often do this at a little or no cost to their clients. For many people, these two concepts of how to run a business were completely and totally separate, and like oil and water could never really mix.
This all changed at the start of this millennium. Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson, a pair businessmen with entrepreneurial spirits, realized that it was possible to effectively combine a business that works for profit and maintain a value structure that would encourage businesses to do their business activities in a way that were designed to improve society as a whole. These businesses would be focused on the blended value that those business practices would generate. Making a profit would be an essential part of a business that used this business model; however the focus would not be on making a profit at any cost. Instead the idea would be learning how to make a profit, while at the same time returning something of value to the community, or to society as a whole. Under this type of business structure, for example, an individual growing tomatoes in Guatemala would be paid a fair price for his produce, allowing him to see his family, and purchase the things that he needs, while still allowing enough margin so that the companies that resell them in the United States or in other parts of the globe are able to make a decent profit.
This type of blended business provides positives for both the grower, and the wholesaler – and ultimately provides value to the entire community. The business model not only applies to agriculture, but any industry. There are always ways to incorporate blended methods into your company.
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