This is the first article in a series introducing businesses, organizations and projects promoting more sustainable and socially responsible world. I have personally been member of the European Bahá’í Business Forum since 2008, so it was natural choice where to start. — Jari-Pekka Raitamaa
There are millions of businesses all around the world, but not all dare to take the route less taken – social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship is a business or company with aims beyond profits. Their main aim is to help improve society by tackling problems which already exists. In other words, businesses who apply social entrepreneurship have a much greater cause, and they do not see profit as a goal, except for to cover the cost of running and maintenance of the business and wages for the workforce.
One of businesses organizations that promotos the route of social entrepreneurship is the European Baha’i Business Forum, or known short as EBBF. The European Baha’i Business Forum is a nongovernmental organization that is spiritually inspired to bring ethical values in workplaces. The European Baha’i Business Forum was founded in 1990 and today, it has expanded to over 60 countries, breaking boundaries between sectors, generations and beliefs.
The EBBF believes in being committed towards a new paradigm of work, where they believe it is very important for workplaces and businesses to try and reach out the key to harmony on its operating principles which will be beneficial for everyone. The ethical principles will help to produce a workforce which is more dynamic, with positive attitude, and the willingness to find ways to contribute and create practical measures to improve the current work productivity.
One of the key principles proposed by the EBBF is that businesses should acknowledge the unity of humankind, as well as understand the meaning of stakeholders in the wide range of a global economy and its effects that could help to expand the entire world population and bringing impact to the environment. The EBBF also proposes that businesses should apply changes when the need arises or when it is necessary, by using means of weighing the decisions based on ethical values, as well as should be made voluntarily after a non-adversarial discussion.
The European Baha’i Business Forum also believes that there should always be a connection between rewards and risks, and that it is not tolerable for companies and businesses to use a particular activity to maximize its profits, but when the time comes to face the consequences, they would escape and let go of responsibilities which could cost dearly to the society. Businesses should also not just focus on short-term goals, but they should make future goals which are long term and based upon ethical principles and ethical values, and should always make decisions and take actions based on that goals.
The EBBF also proposes that businesses should focus on consulting and trying to bring up moral and ethical values as well as find ways to implement them to help put an impact to the world and society rather than contemplating to choose between voluntary standards as well as regulation. Most businesses shy away from these principles simply because of its essential merit. However, those who dare to take on such principles as proposed by the EBBF by implementing them will have to go through insinuations which are challenging and profound politically, socially, economically, and personally.
While most businesses do not implement the values of social entrepreneurship as the goals are often not for profit, but the European Baha’i Business Forum believes that it is totally acceptable for business to profit short and long term while adopting social entrepreneurship, as long as your company does its part in contributing to society, as well as fulfilling their parts in improving society as well as adhering to ethical values which will help to alleviate and tackle problems in society.
The EBBF believes that businesses should become part of the solution instead of part of the problems that we are facing in the world today. The European Baha’i Business Forum suggests that the best place to start is with them along with the Global Ethics Forum is want your business to see the true value of values which will help to promote improvement in society.
European Baha’i Business Forum holds true to 7 core values, that are:-