One social issue in the world today that I care about is equal access to education. I do not come from a wealthy family by any means, but it was easy to be oblivious to it as my parents never made us worry about it – my sisters and I were just told that our “job” was to do well in school. Growing up, it was never about “are you going to go to college?” it was about “where are you going to college?” and “what do you want to study?”- it was expected that I would be going. Having two older sisters and watching them graduate high school to go onto college, it did not occur to me that for some people it was not an option. I realized this my senior year in high school when one of my best friends, an amazing kind-hearted and brilliant girl, broke down in tears because she did not get the scholarship she was a finalist for that would have allowed her to become the first person in her family to attend college. The quarter-of-a million price tag attached to a 4-year college education is a privilege which makes me wonder if it would be possible for businesses to work towards making it more accessible to the everyone.
I’m honestly not sure if there are any business solutions to solve this social issue. Sure, there are things that they can do such as starting even one scholarship with the millions in revenue that they generate every year. We are the future as we’re so often told, so why not contribute to educating even one more person in the world who simply cannot financially afford it? Whether or not this is a “smart” business decision, it would definitely have a huge impact on the lives of the recipients of the scholarships. However, I do not think that any business would be able to revamp the education system that is currently in place.
Starting a company with the goal of solving a social issue would definitely influence its focus towards stakeholders because helping others would be the drive behind the existence of the company. The company would obviously still care about its shareholders since it must be sustainable in order to survive and it cannot do that without ensuring that the company is making profits (and making shareholders happy) but its business practice itself would not be geared towards maximizing profits, it would be geared towards solving an issue which will most likely make the employees more passionate and driven in their work.