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Welcome to a social-enterprise future

Is capitalism “broken?” The waves of protests against the status quo continue and business as usual is just not sustainable anymore.

This means we need a new, better, future for work. One which moves away from materialism and which respects the role that stock markets and a demand-led economy can play. This may sound radical, but even capitalists agree.

In Scotland a new stock exchange is set to launch, currently going by the codename Project Heather. The exchange will assess a firm’s profit, but also its wider performance.

This includes technological innovation and social, environmental and community impact.And a new kind of stock market could just be one element of a social-enterprise future. Social enterprises are companies that have a positive social impact. Many will do this via their work, such as employing those with disabilities, but more important is what social enterprises do with their profits.

These firms re-invest or donate profits to create positive social change. This can range from tacking period poverty, reducing re-offending and making life easier for those with mobility issues.

So from the beer you drink — check out BrewGooder for a beer with a positive social impact — to the food you eat and the supply chain your company works with, social enterprises can make a huge difference.

In addition, a social-enterprise future will see more use of technology, the continued rise of co-working and remote working. This could lead to a more positive working environment.

And if the social enterprise model was adopted by big firms, imagine what the impact could be. For example, Shell’s billion-dollar profits could be used to help the developing world diversify faster from carbon.

HSBC could use $3 million per branch to help alleviate local poverty in the community and GSK could invest its millions in reserves into helping children and babies. A social enterprise future for work means a better world, a better planet and a better working life in an economically sound way.