Why do we need social enterprise?

The importance of social enterprises within any society cannot be overemphasized. It is integral that such enterprises exist in order to maintain the general well-being of the local and global community. By utilizing the brilliant minds of our generation to spur positive change in difficult situations, social enterprises provide a sustainable service that the United Nations cannot replace.

Photo by CANGO Group

Photo by CANGO Group

Even if the United Nations was fully funded, the role of social enterprise would not diminish. Social enterprises provide specific solutions to issues of any magnitude, whereas the priorities of the United Nations lie on the consensus of its member nations, thereby pushing certain agendas aside. Although I am not downplaying the significant impact of the United Nations throughout the past 60 years, I simply believe that they do not have the time nor the resources to cater to all needs in an efficient manner.

Social enterprises such as the ARC initiative provide sustainable solutions to these pressing issues by incorporating all three aspects of the triple bottom line, consisting of social, economic, and environmental development. By integrating young minds with opportunities for intellectual development, social enterprises are not only showing people how to utilize their greatest tool, but how to expand its capabilities as well.

Hence, I believe social enterprises must co-exist with the United Nations in order to resolve world issues such as poverty with the highest level of efficiency.





BlackBerry heading in the wrong direction

Photo by Chris Young

Photo by Chris Young

In an article on The Globe and Mail, I read that BlackBerry is looking to expand into the Chinese market after their CEO, John Chen, met with executives from Xiaomi Corp and Lenovo Group Ltd this past week. Although this may seem like a possibly lucrative deal for BlackBerry, with sales in their current market failing to meet expectations, I believe it is a move in the wrong direction.

In my opinion, BlackBerry is looking at the big picture before addressing the issues they are facing within their local environment. Even with the recent introduction of the Passport, the current BlackBerry line-up is seemingly outdated to most consumers in the North American market. Therefore, expanding at this time is not an ideal decision as the Chinese market poses even greater competition and an unnecessary hurdle during a difficult period in the company’s history. Instead of gaining exposure on their existing products through the vast Chinese market, I believe BlackBerry must focus on the innovation of their future products and conduct extensive research of their current market in order to compete with the likes of Apple and to fully maximize the potential for consumer satisfaction.

Through market research and innovation, BlackBerry can test the demand of its new concept on the North American market, before deciding to expand to foreign markets. Otherwise, they will inevitably suffer from the continued exposure of its outdated products on a global scale, at a time when BlackBerry cannot afford another setback.




Target, the modern retailer

Photo by Jodi Hill

Photo by Jodi Hill

Interestingly enough, I heard of Target for the first time through the Ellen DeGeneres show. While I watched in envy as she gave out expensive merchandise and $500 gift cards from Target during her annual Christmas giveaways segment, I was intrigued by how quickly my preferences for retailers shifted towards them.

According to Eva Liu’s blog post, Target overcame initial hardships to thrive in the Canadian market by offering 3.5% cheaper prices than their rivals Wal-Mart. However, I believe the fundamental reason behind Target’s success in all of its ventures is because they have redefined the role of a modern retailer.

Similar to how Red Bull became more than an energy drink company, Target has transcended the retail industry by coupling a differentiation strategy with the traditional low cost strategy to market their brand. By forming key partnerships with influential celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and major sports organizations like the Minnesota Twins, Target has disrupted their industry, putting significant pressure on rivals to merely follow their pace.

As a result, I believe Target has formed an attractive brand image that has firmly embedded itself into the dominant, millennial customer segment. In my opinion, as long as Target continues to interlink the differentiated marketing strategy with its low cost guarantee strategy, they have no bounds for how far they can shape the modern retailer.








Tangoo or Google. What would you choose?

Photo by Google and Vancity Buzz

Photo by Google and Vancity Buzz

While I was searching online for external bloggers, I drew inspiration from Tangoo whose CEO came to speak at my COMM 101 lecture today. Browsing through their official blog, I came across a post from their current Community Manager Sarah Tang, who described her process of choosing to work at Tangoo instead of Google. Her reasoning behind choosing a risky start-up over a highly sought-after job at Google made me reflect on what I truly want out of business.

When the alumni’s came to speak at our COMM 101 class, I found one common ground between all of the speakers—aside from the fact that they graduated from Sauder. They were each doing what they loved. Utilizing the tools they developed and refined throughout their time at UBC, they made difficult and risky decisions—some turning down offers at established firms—in order to follow their passion. Although this is simply not the case for every graduate, I believe this sort of risk-taking is encouraged by Sauder.

In COMM 101, we have gone through many fundamental topics of the business world, but in my opinion, if there’s been one message that the professors wanted to convey to us first-years, it is: Discover what’s right for you. Although it sounds grotesquely clique, by allowing us to get a glimpse into a variety of specialties like accounting and marketing, I believe this message has always been intrinsic in each of the topics we have learned so far.




Downfall of the McDonald’s dynasty

“Dude let’s just go to McDonald’s” is something you may not hear a lot of in the future. According to Business Insider, McDonald’s worldwide sales dropped 3.3% last year and it’s hardly surprising to me, given the volume of public criticism they have accumulated until now. In my opinion, the major reason for this decline is because McDonald’s have been stagnant in their value propositions while consumer preferences in the fast food industry have evolved.

Photo by McDonald's

Photo by McDonald’s

Health conscious millennials are driving market shares at the moment and while fast food chains like A&W have adapted to advertise their use of beef without steroids or hormones, McDonald’s has been left to be exposed. Up until now, McDonald’s has not valued the quality of their food as much as they valued the price of their food and I think this is a possibly negative effect of their industry low cost strategy. Because McDonald’s has been fully immersed within the concept of lowering prices as much as possible, they are at a severe disadvantage once market preferences have shifted.

Although they tried to ease criticism of its products through their “Our food, your questions” transparency ploy, personally, it came across as a move of desperation instead. McDonald’s must accept that their core value propositions (cheap, fast, delicious food) have been surpassed by other companies and focus on mitigating their downfall as soon as possible if they wish to stay relevant within the fast food industry any longer.