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From selfishness of startups to conscious entrepreneurship

When the world talks about the impact of technological ventures, in Israel (which is usually recognized as a startup nation) there is already talk of revolutionizing the business world based on the notion of conscious entrepreneurship. A few days ago I had an immersive experience in this pioneering place, where they are revising practices and approaching new strategies to think what and how a value chain is generated that teaches other dynamics and ways of being in the market and in the world. It seems that the dream of the technology entrepreneur who sells his startup to thousands of dollars to a great brand is already small.

Think beyond profit and a solitary success; think about people and ecosystems; in value added, common and sustainable. And also, that if a good is generated, it is not necessary to say it, but to be seen through the transformation of people’s lives.

Almost like a new translator of meaning, all the categories and denominations of the entrepreneurial world acquire another meaning when they pass through this new approach. So we have risky investment funds like Pitango, which only invests in ventures that go beyond the status quo and have a vision that changes the world. How to detect them quickly? Two concepts work as filters: diversity and inclusion, since they are the keys to building a solid community, a global ethos. For this venture capital in the world, we increasingly share the same problems, and we have to start thinking that denominations such as consumers are limiting, because we are mainly glocal citizens, so not only is it invested in ventures, but in the value that can be generated in the ecosystem and relationships where everyone can benefit.

The ventures are considered as schools where they are taught to redesign the links between economic, social and cultural factors in an articulated manner. 2B Hub is another impact fund that considers that companies should not only think about profit, but should be concerned about the interests of all the parties involved (entrepreneurs, consumers, workers, suppliers, investors and the community) in order to generate an impact and a sustainable social change.

How are these conscious ventures in which it is invested? Some of the cases are:

  • VR Health: focuses on virtual reality developments for medicinal treatments that allows working with data analysis in real time and without the need to go to a hospital.
  • Tikkun Olam Makers:  is a global community that connects people with disabilities with makers to develop solutions that can then be adapted freely and free anywhere in the world.
  • Tech for good: incubator to accelerate ventures that work contributing to the UN’s sustainable development objectives, generates intersectoral alliances and detects opportunities to scale globally.
  • MEET: IT training program for young Israelis and Palestinians who work together to solve problems through programming.
  • Angel Sense: GPS to accompany young people with autism.

Although in many cases the technological component predominates, it is not a compulsory condition for this type of undertaking: Anna is one of the most prestigious restaurants for its menu, but also for the training and employment of young people with social risk. One of her promoters recalls that in conceiving Anna’s idea: “We could not help but think: How can we take the restaurant concept to another level?” So they came up with a restaurant that has an agenda and social impact, that transforms the lives of those behind the kitchen. They usually do not mention the value proposal because they want to “be recognized for the quality of the cuisine, the menu, the experience itself, and not for the contribution that a guest can make each time he comes because we believe that this must always have been this way, we are all connected and we always make decisions that affect levels that we can not imagine “.

“Entrepreneurship is an active mental state that seeks to influence people through a positive change in their lives,” says the director of 2B Hub, and stresses that we once forgot this crucial definition. “It seems that when you start you are selfish and only look for your own benefit, on the contrary when you create an enterprise, you should always be able to give credits to others, because they work for them,” he concludes.

The integrity, transparency, empowerment of all the actors involved, are just some of the components that make this conscious entrepreneurial approach a new reading to think about the implications of the business world in social and environmental aspects, in the sense of gear and articulation between all these levels. The achievement now is no longer to count how many millions an enterprise was sold, but to whom it benefits and in what way it does so.


Also published on Medium.

Published inStartups

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