Combining Ethics and Entrepreneurship: A Viable Mission?

More often than not, people tend to think of successful businesses as ones that take advantage of either one or more resources. One of these resources is the employees positioned within the lower rungs of the business or corporation. Another resource might be the environment and the wealth of materials that it offers. Thus, the question of democratic, ethical business practices and how it is related to business success may arise. The following are a number of ways in which businesses can achieve success in an ethical manner.

Following the Triple Bottom Line

Business models that do not cater to an ethical framework tend to be driven solely by the bottom line. In other words, they are driven solely by drawing a profit, no matter what the method. But, in order to build a successful business ethically, it is necessary to re-define this business principle. Thus, many successful, ethically-minded businesses follow the principle of following a tripartite bottom line that seeks goods in three forms. These forms are good for the company, for the country and the community.

Focus on Growing Your Business in a Sustainable Fashion

It stands to reason that if a business is not sustainably grown, it does not properly take broader environmental factors into account. Broadly speaking, a sustainably-grown business will try its best to incorporate new technologies into its business practice in a way that is environmentally advantageous. This might mean saving energy or using reusable materials in some of the products your business manufactures. In addition, you might want to integrate some social responsibility into your business practice. This might mean, for example, giving a portion of your proceeds back to a local philanthropic venture.

Look at Successful Examples of Ethically-Minded Businesses

There is a wide range of ethically minded businesses that have garnered various levels of success. Look for such businesses within your own community as sources of inspiration, and to glean ideas for building your very own ethically-minded business. Additionally, you might want to look at examples of bigger businesses, and even corporations that have achieved their success in an ethical manner. One company to look at is DLA Piper on Bob Bratt’s site. DLA Piper has grown to become one of the biggest business law firms in the world.

If you are skeptical about the possibility of building your business in both a democratic and sustainable fashion, look for evidence to the contrary. There are a number of philosophies, principles and businesses themselves that provide hope for the future of both profitable and ethical businesses.

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