Redefining the notion of enterprise

Mayasi Manufacturing for Change at a Fashion event in Spain

For the past 200 to 400 years, a business, within a capitalistic approach, has been seen as a tool to make a personal gain and profit from the needs of the community. One of the positive results of this approach has been the increase in innovations in all types of sectors. We also saw the rise of big fortunes. The direct consequence of it is that a few would benefit from enterprising by concentrating wealth into the hands of a few, whilst the majority would live with very little.

The most recent survey published by Oxfam shows staggering figures:

  1. That half of the global wealth is owned by just 1% of the world population.
  2. The poorest 80% have to share 5.5% of the total wealth created among themselves
  3. The 85 world richest people have a cumulative wealth equal to the cumulative wealth of the poorest 50%

See the full report here: Acticle OXFAM Report

 Current economic data shows that the modern current business culture and social model have failed to distribute wealth and instead contributes to the increased impoverishment of the large majority. Instead, it extract profits from the communities and concentrates it within a few hands.

There is a need to re-invent what business means…

I side strongly with Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, when she asks the following: “Do we really want to live in a world where the 1% own more than the rest of us combined? The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.” Something needs to be done to provide a better distribution of wealth and enable the reduction of poverty in a global scale.

… To reduce poverty

The effects of reducing poverty on a global scale will have a direct impact on several social issues linked to poverty
  • Net réduction in illegal immigration
  • Reduction in conflicts, illegal traffickings (drug, prostitution)
  • Creation of sustainable growth on a global scale.
The NGO POVERTIES makes a clear link between poverty and violence in Africa. See report here.

… And build a fairer society

The concerns of this NGO are also shared by Johann Rupert, who owns brands like Cartier, as he fears a social unrest due to poverty.

Social business : a Change Manufacturing tool

 Women at work in a factory in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos. Photograph: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Women at work in a factory in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos. Photograph: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

 

Better redistributing wealth passes by reinventing the purpose of business. At Mayasi Manufacturing for Change we believe that business should play a vital role into making the communities richer, not just the a few members of the community.

We believe that instead of concentrating the communities wealth into one individual, business should disseminate the wealth back to the community, through:

  • Ensuring the manufacturing is done in the local community
  • Providing fair earnings all along the products value chain
  • Investing in key development projects that will add value to the community
In the end, we will end up in a situation where the communities produce what they use. And this will put an end to poverty and its consequences (mass migrations, wars).

At Mayasi, we manufacture Change

Textile Manufacturing in Africa creates jobs

Textile manufacturing in Africa

We decided to produce and source products only in Africa because ensuring the manufacturing is done in Africa is key to create wealth in Africa. Manufacturing build assets and consolidates know-how. This is the first step for communities becoming richer, happier, more confident in their own values as their know-how becomes globally recognised.

And you, what is your opinion on the role that business  should play in the local economy?

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One Comment

  1. Great post. we do need more solidarity in the world. especially with the migrant crisis in Europe. Poverty has a great part to play in the wars and people leaving their homes.

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