Social enterprises can change entire industries. This is how

SourceWorld Economic Forum
CountryMiddle east

Social enterprises have the potential to change entire industries. An example from the chocolate industry shows the potential for responsible practices sparking a widescale sustainability transition. Investors should therefore dedicate funds to strengthen the influencing capacity of social enterprises. Tony’s Chocolonely started as a small social enterprise that sources cacao to ensure farmers a ‘living wage’ and has now expanded to a fast-growing international company, whose sourcing principles have been followed by the largest Dutch supermarket chain. Could other social enterprises change entire industries? We’d argue yes. The global economy needs to undergo a broad and far-reaching sustainability transition to overcome the social and environmental challenges mankind is facing. The Paris Agreements and the SDGs provide a roadmap for the journey towards sustainability - and the business community is already making moves in the right direction.

We see large, socially-engaged corporations pledging resources to focus on diversity and inclusion and becoming net zero. We see impact-oriented startups focusing on social or environmental solutions. The urgency and magnitude of global issues such as climate change, inequality, and poverty demand rapid acceleration. We argue that social enterprises similarly play a vital role. These businesses have specific social objectives that go more...