What are the Arc Initiative and social enterprise?
Both the Arc Initiative and social enterprise aim to achieve an improvement in the human and environmental well-being through the use of business. While a social enterprise is an organization that aims to improve the social well-being rather than maximizing profits, the Arc Initiative is a program consists of business leaders, students and faculty members who share the same vision as a social enterprise.
The United Nations, Arc Initiative & Social Enterprise
Firstly, the United Nations, Arc Initiative and social enterprises share a common goal of being able to create a better human and environmental welfare. I believe that the Arc Initiative and social enterprises exist in order to modernize business practices and procedures in less developed countries. Not only this, but social enterprises can also help to create employment in a local community. For example, Osei-Duro is a social enterprise based in Ghana, with the goal of promoting local hand-dyed fabric and provide employment opportunities. Because of this, there is an exchange of knowledge between the local community and international consumers. The local community is able to gain a better understanding of these business practices and procedures, while international consumers who buy the local fabric become more aware of the West African culture.
I believe this is something that lacks in the United Nations, and so both the Arc Iniative and social enterprises can help to improve both human and environmental well-being.
Corporate Social Responsibility (or CSR) is an important factor in business where companies are believed to have a responsibility to create a positive impact to the society. However, sometimes businesses are not ‘socially responsible,’ for example, Walmart.
As stated in Mahesh’s blog post, Walmart has been forced to pay millions of dollars to the government for violating air and water pollution legislation. Not only this, but they have also been unethical in ways where they have not paid overtime workers and discriminating female workers.
On one hand, I do agree that Walmart has been acting unethically and they should stop doing so. On the other hand, it is also true that paying workers their extra time would be costly. Not to be cynical, but the two situations show a business’ opportunity cost for doing one over the other. As a business becomes more ‘socially responsible,’ they increase costs of the business. This would go against the business’ goal of aiming for getting a higher profit (assuming that the business’ revenues stay the same).
However, becoming more socially responsible will create a better image for the business. It can be predicted that as a firm gains a better image in the market, this can contribute to a possible increase in sales and hence an increase in profits (assuming that costs stay the same).
I personally believe that as Walmart aims to become more socially responsible, they can aim to earn profits in the long run, as which is similar to what Mahesh stated in the blog.
Phone Carriers – taken from http://www.simplecellphoneapp.com/images/carriers.jpg.
The world has changed since the past decade. Nowadays, people use smartphones everywhere they go, where surfing the internet has become easier and more convenient. David Goldman’s post on CNNMoney talks about how people may not need a mobile carrier by 2020 as WiFi is becoming more and more available, even in airplanes. Nowadays, people try to maximize the use of WiFi everywhere they go in order to minimize their data costs. Furthermore, phone calls and texts now can also be received through WiFi.
This could be a threat for phone carriers if people stop using phone carriers and substitute into using WiFi, especially since WiFi has a cost-advantage for consumers rather than using phone carriers. I found this article interesting and surprising because I have never thought that WiFi could be a threat for phone companies, especially acting as a substitute for phone carriers.
In the long run, in order to avoid this substitute, several phone companies can work together with commercial companies or restaurants for example to provide WiFi. This, in return, will change the company’s business model by adding another revenue stream and adding several key partners. Not only this, but they can also avoid the substitute by being more cost-advantage (not charging consumers with high prices of phone bills).