Socially conscious business and Business as Mission – what’s the difference?

Definitions / Descriptors for BAM / Business as Mission

Many terms surround the space in which IBEC works; terms such as socially conscious business, Business as Mission (BAM), social enterprise, Business for Transformation (B4T), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Benefit Corporation among others. The following grid is far from perfect, but perhaps will help a little in creating some understanding. I welcome your comments.

Socially Conscious Business

Business as Mission (BAM)

Definition: Business committed to an attitude of sensitivity toward and sense of responsibility regarding injustice and societal problems.

Definition:  Legitimate business activity which serves as a vehicle for sharing the love of Christ and helps make followers of Jesus and transform communities.Focus primarily on social issues, but also includes spiritual and economic objectives; aims for profitability. Focus on job creation as primary way to address community need, together with spiritual objectives and profitability.Historic Triple

Bottom Line: People, Planet and Profit Quadruple

Bottom Line: People, Planet and Profit plus Spiritual capital

Often called social enterprises.

Often called Kingdom businesses.

Oftentimes registered as a Not-For-Profit; but can be a For-Profit company.

Usually registered as a For-Profit company, but can be Not-For-Profit.

Sustainable success measured largely by profitability, job creation and on social change.

Sustainable success measured largely by profitability, job creation and spiritual transformation.

Location: Businesses anywhere in the world.

Location: Businesses primarily in undeveloped countries, though the principle in developed countries might be called Business as Ministry.

Legally usually a 501 c/3, Limited Liability (L3C), or Benefit Corporation (B-Corp).

Legally usually LLC, S-Corporation, C-Corporation, Partnership, or Sole Proprietorship.

Sample social enterprises: RUNA, Ashoka, Eco Scraps, Harvest Power

Sample BAM companies: Pacific Resources International, Galtronics, Barrington Gifts

Some spokespeople: Seth Godin, Matt Flannery, Blake Mycoskie, Mohammed Yunus

Some spokespeople: Mats Tunehag, Dwight Nordstrom, Mike Baer

Very similar terms: Social enterprise; social entrepreneurship

Very similar terms: Business for Transformation (B4T)

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures
Larry.Sharp@ibecventures.com

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