Humane Entrepreneurship – Thinking Paper Series Issue 1

Monday, February, 17, 2020

Humane Entrepreneurship – Thinking Paper Series Issue 1

Monday, February, 17, 2020

Is Humane Entrepreneurship the Right Entry Point to Find and Deploy Solutions to the Global Challenges Humanity Faces?

If you had the chance to decide which was the biggest challenge facing the globe, could you choose? If you were then tasked with finding a solution and acting on it, could you meet the challenge? We all know our world faces many complex issues with too few answers. Most citizens look to governments or governmental agencies to find and implement solutions. But are the vexing global issues we face things that only political entities should be looking at and acting on? What about all of us, everyday citizens who aren’t involved in making laws, policies, and widespread reforms? We at ICSB believe it comes down to the concept of Humane Entrepreneurship.

In September 2000, the United Nations issued the Millennial Declaration, from which the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were articulated with the aim of halving poverty and reducing extreme poverty by 2015. As 2015 came and moved along, the UN was forced to acknowledge that though some progress was made, it was obviously short of achieving its objectives. It also became clear that governments and politicians couldn’t handle the job alone, but all actors including the private sector—and their employees who relied on the earth for life—needed to be actively working towards the same goals, rising to meet the challenge and being part of the solution.

So, in 2015, the UN and nearly all its member states expanded on the MDGs, coming up with a more ambitious set of new goals—a total of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many of these goals require innovation, entrepreneurship, and business solutions in order to be reached. ICSB members felt that they had the right mix of approaches to answer the call. 

Created to support small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs, ICSB stands on four pillars: Education, Research, Policy, and Practice. Together, these four pillars create a formidable foundation to analyze challenges as well as devise and deploy solutions through the collective knowledge and creativity of many minds. So, when the UN’s SDGs were created, we knew we had the right basis to address them. How would we contribute to the solution? For us, it started with one element.

At ICSB, we believe that Humane Entrepreneurship is the right entry point to find and deploy solutions to the global challenges humanity faces and help reach the 2030 SDG targets. With a focus not just on business or wealth but performance and sustainability, the idea of Humane Entrepreneurship really hones in on the three dimensions of the SDGs—social, environmental, and economic. Businesses that are beneficial to humanity and respectful of earth’s precious natural resources, while being economically viable and sustainable, defines enterprises of the future. What does this concept of Humane Entrepreneurship fully entail? We’ll discuss that more in-depth in the next article in our Thinking Paper Series “Humane Entrepreneurship as a Concept.”

In the progress of this discussion, I shall endeavor to give a satisfactory answer to all the objections which shall have made their appearance.~

Written by Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy

ICSB Executive Director
Deputy Chair, Department of Management
GW School of Business
Washington DC

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