What do you think of when you hear the name, Bono?
U2 and rock music, right?
Every day, we hear testimonials on the news media. Sometimes spokespeople are famous, but not competent to speak up on a subject. Not so with Bono and business. There are many commendable aspects for this 62-year-old rockstar. He loves his wife of 40 years. He has addressed social and religious issues in an effort to raise consciousness on important concerns like AIDS, wars in Africa, poverty, unemployment, among others. He is an apologist for Jesus.
When IBEC coach, Alan, sent around a bit of news about Bono’s perspective on business, my interest was piqued. As such, I immediately looked into his business history. Through my research, I discovered he has started two companies, is a board member of several others including private equity firms, an investor in billion-dollar companies, and is frequently named on Time magazine’s list of the most influential people. In 2005, he was Time’s Person of the Year.
IBEC is about business as mission. In many ways, Bono is a musical businessperson on a mission. Here is a recent comment from Bono (New York Times interview, 2022):
I ended up as an activist in a very different place from where I started. I thought that if we just redistributed resources, then we could solve every problem. I now know that’s not true. There’s a funny moment when you realize that as an activist: The off-ramp out of extreme poverty is, ugh, commerce, it’s entrepreneurial capitalism. . .
[G]lobalization has brought more people out of poverty than any other -ism. If somebody comes to me with a better idea, I’ll sign up. I didn’t grow up to like the idea that we’ve made heroes out of businesspeople, but if you’re bringing jobs to a community and treating people well, then you are a hero. That’s where I’ve ended up.
Oh, that more people in government, NGOs, the school system, and the church would end up where Bono has.
Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures