Blog Academia B | INNOVATING BUSINESS MODELS FOR MARKET-DRIVEN INCLUSION: B CORPS IN LATIN AMERICA- María Emilia Correa, Sistema B.
55
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-55,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,hide_top_bar_on_mobile_header,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-theme-ver-10.0,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

INNOVATING BUSINESS MODELS FOR MARKET-DRIVEN INCLUSION: B CORPS IN LATIN AMERICA- María Emilia Correa, Sistema B.

In 2010 Tere Comparini, a Chilean entrepreneur, created Terrium, a company that produces and sells healthy foods. Today Terrium is a established company, with sale points all over Chile, and planning to expand to Colombia. Tere designed her business by defining a purpose: to sell healthy foods and to give everyone working with Terrium the same time for their families as Tere wanted for hers. The business model, production costs and forecasting are organized around the needs of women and their families, including Tere. She started by finding a production site and then offered work to women living nearby, so distance to work is not significant for them. Tere offered a first job to several women, and designed a business model where vacations and daily schedules are the same for everyone and coincide with schools: everyone can go home at 4 pm, and everyone takes vacations at the same time. If Tere and her family take one month off for summer, the plant is closed and everyone has the same vacation time as the owner.

Tere´s example allows me to introduce the main idea that I want to present today: further to the right public policies, and to companies offering jobs and business opportunities in their value chain, COMPANIES CAN BE DESIGNED FOR INCLUSION, USING BUSINESS MODELS FOR MARKET-DRIVEN INCLUSION.

To develop this idea, I will introduce 4 propositions:

  • Business models can be designed with the purpose to create positive social impact, and can be financially successful
  • Business models can be designed around the needs of women, and can be financially successful
  • B Corps are redefining the meaning of success in business by creating well-being for shareholders and for employees by operating successful business models where financial results and markets are vehicles that support a purpose
  • Sistema B is an invitation to open up our mental maps, to enlarge the limits of the possible in our minds, and build a new economy, where economic opportunities offer well-being for women and their families, and not come at the expense of life

 

Terrium, as well as Crepes&Waffles, the largest restaurant chain in Colombia offering opportunities for single mothers, Maravil, offering work and income for women who cannot leave their homes, Paloma&Angostura offering jobs to women who used to be guerrilla fighters in Colombia, are some of the many B Corps exemplifying in Latin America the first idea I want to introduce today:

BUSINESS MODELS CAN BE DESIGNED WITH THE PURPOSE TO CREATE POSITIVE SOCIAL IMPACT, AND CAN BE FINANCIALLY SUCCESFUL

Recent studies by CEPAL show that women in Latin America dedicate on average 39 hours a week to non-paid tasks versus an average of 15 hours per week to paid tasks. On the other hand, men dedicate on average 41 hours a week to paid tasks versus and average of 13 hours a week to non payed tasks. Millions of women are not able to leave their homes to find a job because they are taking care of a sick relative, small children, or simply because they are not allowed to leave their homes. These women are considered under the category of “people with barriers to employment”. This category takes us to a view of business and the economy that considers companies as machines, and people as “resources”, “things”, that must fit into the needs of those machines, an expression of the mechanical view of business of the XIX century. Gender equality in income is fundamental, for sure, but income equality for women must take into account the inherent differences in the real working week for women.

What Terrium, Crepes, Maravill and hundreds of B Corps are showing in Latin America, is the second proposition I want to present:

BUSINESS MODELS CAN BE DESIGNED AROUND THE NEEDS OF WOMEN, AND CAN BE FINANCIALLY SUCCESFUL.

Business models are usually designed around financial issues, such as production costs, distance to ports, or the level of fixed costs, which include “human resources”. The so-called “competitive advantage”, the holy grail of many business schools, is very often based on reducing fixed costs, which means including less people, cheaper people, in order to increase profits for shareholders. Propositions for the inclusion and well-being of women and their families are often directed to large companies because we think that well-being, quality of life, satisfaction and pride with jobs, are “positive externalities”: luxuries that are unintended consequences of financial success. Small companies supposedly can only try to survive in the market; those luxuries can be considered only by large companies and only after financial success. B Corps are demonstrating in Latin America that tiny companies, start ups, SMEs as well as multinational corporations, can create economic opportunities, jobs and income, around the needs of women.

We have built an economy where success is mainly financial success. Students in business schools learn many ways to be financially successful, to reduce fixed costs, to beat their competitors, but they seldom learn to design financially successful companies that take into account the needs of people to offer quality of life and economic opportunities in a financially viable way.

My third proposition is:

B CORPS ARE REDEFINING THE MEANING OF SUCCESS IN BUSINESS, BY CREATING WELL-BEING FOR SHAREHOLDERS AND FOR EMPLOYEES, BY IMPLEMENTING BUSINESS MODELS WHERE FINANCIAL RESULTS AND MARKETS ARE THE VEHICLES THAT SUPPORT A PURPOSE.

I want to end this presentation with an invitation: imagine, if you will, an economy where well-being of people and planet are the measures of success, and where financial results are the means to achieve well-being.

More than 40% of homes in Latin America are in single parent households. Public policy focuses on creating economic opportunities for women, and the number of women employed is a measure of development. Imagine if public policy in Latin America and the world supported the creation of economic opportunities designed upon the real needs of those women and their families.

SISTEMA B IS AN INVITATION TO OPEN UP OUR MENTAL MAPS, TO ENLARGE THE LIMITS OF THE POSSIBLE IN OUR MINDS, AND TO BUILD A NEW ECONOMY WHERE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES OFFER WELL-BEING FOR WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES, AND NOT COME AT THE EXPENSE OF LIFE.

  • Business models can be designed with the purpose to create positive social impact, and can be financially successful
  • Business models can be designed around the needs of women, and can be financially successful
  • B Corps are redefining the meaning of success in business by creating well-being for shareholders and for employees by operating successful business models where financial results and markets are vehicles that support a purpose
  • Sistema B is an invitation to open up our mental maps, to enlarge the limits of the possible in our minds, and build a new economy, where economic opportunities offer well-being for women and their families, and not come at the expense of life

 

THANK YOU

1Comentario
  • FRANCISCA SOTTA
    Publicado a las 17:08h, 31 July Reply

    So inspiring. The best post to start the week.
    Tahnk you María Emilia

Publicar una respuesta a FRANCISCA SOTTA Cancelar respuesta