Aim for More Than Profit

The Power of Social Entrepreneurship


As social causes grow in recognition, many business models have begun adjusting their measurements for success. In addition to reaching a sustainable level of profit, companies have started to consider the potential their work holds for meeting the needs of people. In this post taken from the course, Social Entrepreneurship: Committed to the Needs of People, Will Haughey defines social entrepreneurship and offers insight into how you can leverage your business for more than profit alone.

Will is the Co-Founder and Chief "Blockhead" of Tegu, a toy company based out of Honduras that sells magnetized wooden block sets. He and his brother launched their business in 2006 out of a desire to help meet the needs of Honduran poverty. Since then, it has grown to support hundreds of employees and has been featured nationally on TODAY, People Magazine, and The Oprah Magazine.



Will and his brother started Tegu out of a desire to integrate their love for business with their love for people. Both of these are passions given to them by God, which He has used to lead them into intentionally addressing the problem of poverty by way of business profit. 

As Will shared, in his position on Wall Street he had begun to feel trapped in an environment where he was primarily pursing a better salary, title, and reputation. Tegu gave him an opportunity to do what he loves in a way that transformed the lives of impoverished Hondurans. In your own context, do you feel similarly trapped? If so, how? Does Will's story offer any insight on how you can begin to change that? In what ways does his experience appeal to you?
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What do you consider the best ways for a company to blend its talent for business with a focused love for people? What values are most important to you when starting a new business venture?
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What are the current companies you most admire for their focus on the welfare of people? What makes their work effective?
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By creating Tegu, Will and his brother offered impoverished Hondurans an opportunity for hope and purpose through a profitable company. In this next video, Will offers his definition for social entrepreneurship. He also explains the significant potential in the business world for creating a brighter future for society as a whole. 


Social entrepreneurs are people who desire a better future for themselves, their families, and for their society at large and as a result take the necessary steps towards accomplishing that vision. Would you consider yourself a social entrepreneur? How have you seen this kind of vision and purpose in your own business ventures?
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Will defined social entrepreneurship as, “Taking risk for the purpose of productivity such that social issues and aims can be addressed just by virtue of doing business and flourishing in an organization.” What are some of the risks you have taken in your own entrepreneurship? In what ways would you like to grow?
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How does Will's discussion motivate you? What about it compels you?
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Will shared how social entrepreneurs measure productivity in terms of profit, but also in terms of the benefit their work brings to those in need. How do you measure productivity? As you consider your own plans and goals, what are the ways you could most effectively devote your influence to the benefit of others?
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The world of business offers a unique potential for being a positive influence on social needs. While profit is crucial, so are the people your work impacts. As you consider your own influence, act boldly in your commitment to the good of others.


For more insights and teaching from Will Haughey, check out the full course, Social Entrepreneurship: Committed to the Needs of People.