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  • I've had the wonderful opportunity to interact

  • with so many of you, today and during the last week,

  • through a survey that I sent out where I asked you

  • what is the biggest problem in the world.

  • And I can tell you from your answers that this room,

  • full of people, is full of compassion and wonderful thoughtful group.

  • Actually, which has given quite a bit of thought to this question already.

  • And I was also excited to see that many many of you agreed

  • with my top 5 list of what the biggest problem in the world is today.

  • Starting with clean water, which we heard about today,

  • poverty, chronic disease, sustainable energy.

  • But I was a little bit surprised that nobody in this room

  • agreed with my number 5 top problem in the world which is:

  • "How to get potato chips to everybody across the globe who wants them."

  • Now, stay with me.

  • Last year the World Heath Organization spent 5 billion dollars

  • across the planet delivering health solutions.

  • But also last year a very important organization,

  • known as the Institute for Spreading Potato Chips

  • to Every Person, otherwise known as ISPEP,

  • spent 50 billion dollars delivering potato chips.

  • Now if we spend 10 times as much money delivering potato chips,

  • it must be 10 times as big a problem, right?

  • Well, obviously I am being sarcastic about that but

  • it brings a really important point which is,

  • corporations are incredibly powerful

  • at delivering solutions to problems.

  • But they make absolutely no value judgment

  • about which problems they're going to solve.

  • So today I am gonna show you how one small twist

  • can take the power of those corporations

  • and drive that energy into solving world problems.

  • It's called "Good Returns" and we'll learn exactly how it works today.

  • To really understand this I want to give you a practical example

  • of how a world problem can be addressed.

  • I work with 3 micro-finance institutions

  • and they have this wonderful program, I call it "anti-poverty package,"

  • where they deliver to women in rural areas

  • a group of training and services,

  • so they get healthcare and healthcare education.

  • They get different kinds of job training or trade training

  • where they can learn how to earn a living for themselves.

  • And then they also get a small loan.

  • Typically it's about a 150 dollars.

  • And the amazing things is, within 6 months

  • these women will start a small business,

  • they will repay the entire $150 loan, with interest.

  • And all of the money that it takes to provide these social services

  • comes from the interest on those loans, which means

  • this organization is totally self-sustaining.

  • It doesn't require any donations once it gets going.

  • This is called a social enterprise.

  • It addresses an important social problem but it does it in a sustainable way.

  • Now, let's compare that to what a company looks like.

  • Most of you are familiar with this model.

  • You have an investor, they put their money into a corporation,

  • the corporation makes a product or service, they make a profit,

  • and ultimately those profits are distributed back to the investor.

  • And this might seem obvious but it's important.

  • That's the reason the investor puts their money into the business in the first place,

  • it's because they're going to get more back out.

  • In fact, a company is a profit-making machine.

  • That's what it is designed for.

  • And it has an interesting side effect.

  • Because it can promise a large profit to investors,

  • it can pull in massive amounts of capital.

  • And that lets our potato chip making company

  • build a plant half-way across the planet.

  • They can raise that money with the promise that they are going to return more.

  • You heard earlier today about the non-profit model and the issues with that.

  • Money is put in by a donor and all the money is spent.

  • So where a corporation might be a profit-making machine,

  • a non-profit is a society-improving machine:

  • it's addressing the right problems but it's totally unsustainable.

  • The social enterprise as we just saw is a great blend

  • between the two because it is a society-improving machine

  • but it uses a sustainable model.

  • So we might think that social enterprises then are the solution

  • to all our world's problems but there is one remaining issue.

  • Because the social enterprise is addressing a low-profit industry.

  • If solving a global problem were highly profitable,

  • I guarantee you a company would already be doing it.

  • So therefore the social enterprise is guaranteed

  • to be working on a low profit problem.

  • And that means it can't make that promise to investors that says,

  • "If you give me your money I'll give you more money back in return."

  • So that's why you see corporations scaling across the globe

  • but you don't necessarily see institutions addressing

  • poverty or water or any of these other great problems scaling very quickly.

  • So now let's build up the "Good Returns" model

  • that's designed to solve this problem.

  • We start with an investor just like before,

  • they put their dollars into a corporation, the corporation makes a profit.

  • But now, instead of returning the profits to the investor

  • under the "Good Returns" model those profits are delivered

  • to a social enterprise that's working on a real important problem.

  • Just for one year. At the end of one year the social enterprise

  • does its good and returns the dollars to the investor.

  • So this process drives capital into social enterprises.

  • Now this is a great theory and there are a lot of great theories

  • about how to save the world.

  • So what I and my friends wanted to do was to prove that it actually works.

  • So we started the very first "Good Returns" company.

  • It's called "Soap Hope."

  • I and my friends put money into "Soap Hope."

  • "Soap Hope" sells awesome products on the internet,

  • it makes a profit, at the end of the year it takes those profits

  • and it delivers them to 3 micro-finance institutions.

  • Those institutions deploy the anti-poverty package,

  • when the women pay their loans back,

  • the micro-finance institution provides the dollars back

  • and then we take our returns.

  • We have to wait one extra year.

  • Now, you might say, "Well that's great Sal, you've got a great heart,

  • and I am glad you are doing that with your one company,

  • but how are you going to drive that to scale to lots of companies?"

  • Well, I am not doing that out of the goodness of my heart.

  • I am doing this because it's great for business.

  • "Soap Hope" has experienced a 100% year over year growth.

  • It has customers that do all the marketing that we need for us.

  • They spread the word like wildfire because they love the fact that when they shop there,

  • they are doing something great for women.

  • What potato chip company do you know that can say the same thing?

  • The great thing about social enterprises is

  • that they address almost every problem that you can imagine.

  • There are social enterprises in clean water, in nutrition,

  • in health care, in child care, in poverty, you name it,

  • there is a social enterprise ready to address it.

  • That means there are business opportunities for anybody

  • who wants to partner with a social enterprise

  • and grab those same competitive advantages.

  • Imagine the opportunity for a giant multinational potato chip company

  • if they offer to their investors the option to check a box

  • that says, "I'll wait one year for my dividend

  • if you insure it and put it into a "Good Returns" style program."

  • Can you imagine the partnerships and marketing power

  • of billions of dollars of shareholder investments going for social good?

  • So now you understand the "Good Returns" model,

  • I want to talk to you also about another question

  • that I asked you on my survey.

  • I asked, "What is the hardest thing you had to do today?"

  • And I got some hilarious answers from this group

  • and I also got some very touching answers from the group.

  • But nobody in the audience said,

  • "The hardest thing I had to do today was to haul dirty water

  • for 5 hours back to my home so my family could drink.

  • Nobody in the crowd said, "The hardest thing I did was to ration

  • a limited amount of food among my hungry children."

  • You know, we are aware of the factors of success in our lives.

  • Most of us know what it takes to be successful.

  • You work hard, you're creative, you're intelligent

  • you knock obstacles down.

  • But we don't think all that often about the vast numbers

  • of success factors that we were either given or just came to us by accident.

  • Nobody in the room taught themselves to read,

  • nobody in the room gave themselves a polio vaccine,

  • nobody in this room had to spend all day long collecting water or food,

  • just to have enough to eat today.

  • I know this woman. I met her last year.

  • She works hard, she is creative, she knocks down obstacles.

  • When we really become truly aware of the vast amount that's been given to us,

  • it becomes almost an urgent need, not to give her anything,

  • but just to provide the opportunity for her to create her own success.

  • I asked you what the biggest problem in the world is.

  • And you told me what it was.

  • You said education, you said climate change,

  • you said water, you said hunger --

  • Those are YOUR answers.

  • So I came here today to ask you to do something.

  • I know many of you are working on these challenges

  • but I came here to ask you to do more.

  • Spend more of your time, spend more of your resource,

  • more of your creativity, more knocking down obstacles

  • and solve these problems.

  • You know, it's incumbent on us to take that step.

  • So today I hope you'll have a fantastic day of ideas,

  • I hope during this day you will continue to think about

  • what the greatest problem in the world is,

  • but I hope even more that tomorrow morning you'll wake up

  • and you'll take a bold and powerful step of action to solving worlds greatest challenges.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I've had the wonderful opportunity to interact

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A2 BEG social profit enterprise potato investor problem

【TEDx】TEDxGrandRapids - Salah Boukadoum - Innovate: Philanthropy

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    阿多賓   posted on 2014/03/06
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