For profit

I find myself annoyed by the artificial divide between non-profit organisations doing good for the world and for-profit companies only caring about profit.

Of course, their respective company structures create different incentives and incentives shape behaviour. But on a global scale I see too many examples of beneficial impact by for-profit companies to agree with this divide. But that’s only a superficial reason to be annoyed.

The main reason for my discomfort has more to do with the underlying message this divide communicates: “When you’re doing good for the world, you can’t make a profit. And if you’re profitable, we don’t expect you to neither do we believe you to be making a positive impact on our world.”  If that train of thought surprises you, the fact that this is a fairly popular opinion in Belgium, probably surprises you even more.

Not to sound too heavy handed but honestly: I don’t want to live in a world where one cannot make a profit while doing good. Neither do I want to live in a world where making a profit denies you the right to try and have a positive impact on the world.

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