FlexiWay is a For Benefit company
“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels” – Albert Einstein
Einsteins quote has often been paraphrased as “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”, which sums it up perfectly.
The old division between ‘For profit’ and ‘Not for profit’ and ‘capitalist’ vs ‘social’ companies is crumbling down. We are one of a new type of company, having been called ‘Social Enterprise‘ & ‘For benefit‘, as opposed to the old (not) for profit companies.
Basically we want the values of the charities while being focused on our business which benefits many. We aim to make profits as it will enable us to do more good.
Blurring the Profit/Nonprofit Boundary
The concept of shared value blurs the line between for-profit and nonprofit organizations. New kinds of hybrid enterprises are rapidly appearing. (…)
The blurring of the boundary between successful for-profits and nonprofits is one of the strong signs that creating shared value is possible. – “Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business review
Why are we not a charity?
We have contemplated making FlexiWay a charity, so we could accept tax-deductible donations, but decided against it for several reasons:
- Tax laws are limited by borders, so in order for donations to be tax deductible, we would need one legal entity (Charity) for every country our donors are in, which would be too costly (in money and time) to set up and keep our focus from what is important.
- We gathered that most people would not bother with trying to deduct a small donation anyway (the time and paperwork often is not worth the deduction), even if we were to have a charity in every country.
- For those that want to make a larger donation, we will work together with our NGO partners, so they can donate directly to them (deductible) and the NGO’s will buy our lights. We will set up direct donation pages to the NGOs as well.
If you are a registered charity and you want to connect yourself to FlexiWay Solar and our projects, contact us. For example you can set up your own solar projects using our lights and we will assist you with promotion as well as the best price for our lights.
Not a charity, not a salary
We feel that we need a new approach to solve the problems above in the most efficient way. As mentioned, we will work together with large and small NGO’s and other charities for distribution, but want to generate income to be able to fund new projects and to keep the prices of the lights low for those who need them the most and by increasing production.
However, we feel that as a company, we should not get paid if we don’t do our work well. This means no fixed salaries or other benefits. We only generate income when our projects are a success and after the goals have been met and the locals have benefited.
We will keep the price of the lights as low as possible, as we aim to be paid back for our work and development costs afterwards, from the possible additional income generated through Carbon Credits.
Even if our efforts and investments are not paid back financially, at least we will have contributed our part to improve our world, which is invaluable to us.
Read more about a new way of business thinking
Even though it is focused on larger companies, we suggest to read this article by the well-known business consultant Michael Porter, from which the following quotes are taken:
A big part of the problem lies with companies themselves, which remain trapped in an outdated approach to value creation that has emerged over the past few decades.
They continue to view value creation narrowly, optimizing short-term financial performance in a bubble while missing the most important customer needs and ignoring the broader influences that determine their longer-term success.
How else could companies overlook the well-being of their customers, the depletion of natural resources vital to their businesses, the viability of key suppliers, or the economic distress of the communities in which they produce and sell?
(…) The presumed trade-offs between economic efficiency and social progress have been institutionalized in decades of policy choices.
What Is “Shared Value”?
The concept of shared value can be defined as policies and operating practices that enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the economic and social conditions in the communities in which it operates. Shared value creation focuses on identifying and expanding the connections between societal and economic progress.
The concept rests on the premise that both economic and social progress must be addressed using value principles. Value is defined as benefits relative to costs, not just benefits alone. Value creation is an idea that has long been recognized in business, where profit is revenues earned from customers minus the costs incurred. However, businesses have rarely approached societal issues from a value perspective but have treated them as peripheral matters. This has obscured the connections between economic and social concerns.
In the social sector, thinking in value terms is even less common. Social organizations and government entities often see success solely in terms of the benefits achieved or the money expended. As governments and NGOs begin to think more in value terms, their interest in collaborating with business will inevitably grow.
Not all profit is equal—an idea that has been lost in the narrow, short-term focus of financial markets and in much management thinking. Profits involving a social purpose represent a higher form of capitalism—one that will enable society to advance more rapidly while allowing companies to grow even more.
The result is a positive cycle of company and community prosperity, which leads to profits that endure.
The Role of Social Entrepreneurs
Businesses are not the only players in finding profitable solutions to social problems. A whole generation of social entrepreneurs is pioneering new product concepts that meet social needs using viable business models. Because they are not locked into narrow traditional business thinking, social entrepreneurs are often well ahead of established corporations in discovering these opportunities.
Social enterprises that create shared value can scale up far more rapidly than purely social programs, which often suffer from an inability to grow and become self-sustaining. Real social entrepreneurship should be measured by its ability to create shared value, not just social benefit.
Creating shared value represents a new approach to managing that cuts across disciplines. Because of the traditional divide between economic concerns and social ones, people in the public and private sectors have often followed very different educational and career paths. As a result, few managers have the understanding of social and environmental issues required to move beyond today’s CSR approaches, and few social sector leaders have the managerial training and entrepreneurial mind-set needed to design and implement shared value models.
Most business schools still teach the narrow view of capitalism, even though more and more of their graduates hunger for a greater sense of purpose and a growing number are drawn to social entrepreneurship. The results have been missed opportunity and public cynicism.
FlexiWay is a new type of business. Join us in our journey to make this world cleaner and more just.
- 1 Alleviate poverty Reduce poverty by saving 25% of household costs!
- 2 Health benefits removing toxic and dangerous kerosene from households
- 3 Prevent fire hazards Kerosene lamps are leading cause of house fires
- 4 Enabling education Students can study better & longer, more money for books
- 5 Save our planet Stop global warming, deforestation and pollution
- 6 Increase income Light at night can create additional income streams
- 7 Empowering women LED lights create a brighter future for women and girls
- 8 Empower communities Light generates joint income, offers new possibilities
- 9 Increase safety bringing light in houses and community
- 10 Solar education Teach students and entrepreneurs about solar