Traditionally, businesses count dollars to define success but there is a new breed of business: social enterprise. Social enterprises aim to resolve social problems, to create change in their communities and the world. Although they sell in the open market, their profits are reinvested toward the problems they are trying to tackle. They profit for society.
Big Tree Farms, is an outstanding example of social enterprise. Now, currently the largest and most sustainable coconut supply chain in the world, and South East Asia's largest operating organic food supply chain, this company is built around their mission "To produce innovative products with best in class quality that provides sustainable health, environment and economy to our customers, farmers and community."
Based in Bali, Ben Ripple, the founder of Big Tree, works with 14,000 farmers throughout Indonesia to grow a vast amount of cacao and coconut sugar, and improve each individual farmers quality of life.
For Ben, the success is based on the social and environmental impact, and financial sustainability for all individuals along the supply chain.
Big Tree Farms has invested years and endless revisions to his business model to ensure it is environmentally friendly. From having the worlds most sustainable facility created entirely out of bamboo, to growing food organically, and paying above standard wages, they truly have accomplished this task. Ben doesn't measure his success by how much land he has, he measures his success by how well he can treat the land he has.
They have also developed a system for maximizing the financial standing for each farmer they work with. As his own business grows, the standard of living and economic opportunity for each farmer grows as well. They grow together. Ben doesn't measure his success by his own profits, he measures it by how many farmers he can benefit and how well he can benefit them.
Social enterprise plays in perfectly with the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals). Touching on targets in Goal 8, Goal 11, Goal 12.
Its incredible how evolved and innovative business models have become over the years. Not only can you make a profit, you can offer a service or product into the market, grow the economy, supply jobs, improve the lives of others, create foundations for sustainablilty in local and global communities, and truly, change the world.
Seeing a business thrive in the way Big Tree did, inspires me to do the same in my future.