Everyone can become a changemaker. After centuries focusing on exponential economic growth,the planet and its people desperately need an economy of restorers and regenerators.
From social entrepreneurship to ecopreneurship, the concept of entrepreneurship has recently evolved towards a more conscious and impact-driven approach. The pace of biodiversity loss and climate change has been an awakening call for individuals to solve the greatest challenges of our times using business as a force for good. Shifting from a profit-focus and winner-takes-all mindset, numerous like-minded entrepreneurs have understood the necessity for businesses to focus on their social and environmental impact.
At a time of economic instability, the solutions economy is growing at an unprecedented pace. Many mission-led businesses with ambitious planetary purpose are springing up all over the globe. Even if there are some barriers for entrepreneurs operating in certain regions of the world, the number of positive impact entrepreneurs is growing at an enhanced rate globally. Committed individuals have rolled their sleeves up and are aiming to answer complex challenges by developing needs-oriented solutions.
This rapid trend illustrates the untapped opportunities to unleash business as a force for good. As a major influence on our economy, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for 99% of the economy in the European Union alone. From zero waste marketplaces, to carbon net zero delivery, changemaker companies are using ingenuity and technology to solve major challenges. Navigating through complex problems, entrepreneurs’ ventures operating at a local level have more capabilities to deliver a positive impact. By adopting bioregion models, leaders in the space are driving positive change and innovation impacting the lives of local populations.
This increased visibility in the public sphere has inspired entrepreneurs from all fields to develop sustainability strategies whilst answering the market demand for “greener” activities. Still, too many businesses are either using sustainability as a fig leaf investing more on marketing than tangible impact or not being able to easily measure the tangible impact outcomes of their venture. This can be explained by the absence of transparency in some industries, the low awareness of consumers, and the lack of inclusive support offered to SMEs.
Entrepreneurs are now entering a new era where transparency, accountability, and impact measurement is becoming the new norm. Just as the scale of our collective challenges call for more meaningful change, entrepreneurs are now being asked to shift from a sustainable to a regenerative mindset. Fortunately more and more entrepreneurs are doing just that. As they do so, their duty is now to restore, recover, and regenerate our broken ecosystems.
The immensity of the challenge might be overwhelming but there is a critical need to foster a Regenerative economy focusing on Purpose, Planet, People, Partners, and Places. Highlighted by the Positive Compass, this 5P model offers a 360 degree approach with purpose at the core for entrepreneurs to make a positive impact. This tool provides changemakers with a holistic approach to business, placing the company within the interconnected web of life where all challenges are intertwined. It allows businesses to develop within planetary boundaries and the safe space for humanity.
A big part of an entrepreneurial journey now involves striving for tangible impact. From investors to customers, the field is craving for entrepreneurs to lead change. The state of our world is the reflection of our actions and we, therefore, need entrepreneurs leading by example to inspire the many. The time for Regeneration has come and all entrepreneurs are invited to embrace change reconnecting their inner and outer selves for the benefit of our planet and the generations to come. Reconnecting culture, purpose, wellbeing (inner) with impact, value proposition, and stakeholders (outer) is the solution for them to thrive. After all, this is about bridging the mind and the matter to unleash full human potential. Always coming from a place of wholeness.
The impact of leaders such as DatHappy unleashing the power of data for good or Aeropowder creating thermal packaging with feathers is inspiring. Stories of change are flourishing, shedding a light on successful visionaries willing to put their knowledge and energy behind the common good. Behind these stories are bright and committed entrepreneurs stepping into what the future should look like.
The time has come for us all to join forces, share knowledge, and co-create impactful solutions. It is only by fostering radical collaboration that we will be able to make the world a better place for all. If you are also passionate about impact and want to join the Positive community of changemaker companies empowering a Regenerative economy, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Niels is the founder and CEO of Positive – The Regenerative Business Community (Linkedin)