By Michael Edwards

A brand new stream is afoot that provides to save lots of the realm via employing the magic of the marketplace to the demanding situations of social swap. Its supporters argue that utilizing enterprise rules to unravel international difficulties is much better than extra conventional techniques. What will be fallacious with that? nearly every little thing, argues former Ford origin director Michael Edwards. during this hard-hitting, arguable exposé, he marshals a wealth of proof to bare that during fact, a industry technique hurts greater than it is helping. genuine swap will come whilst enterprise acts extra like civil society, now not the opposite direction round.

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22 At their best, social entrepreneurs take the social side of the equation seriously, moving beyond the numbers game to consider the deeper issues of power and collective action. Nevertheless, the pull of the market is always very strong. ” When the rubber hits the road, however, it is the market that dominates decision making: “The safest and best opportunities for nonprofits to achieve greater short-term financial stability” include “reducing costs (for example: cutting programs no longer needed or valued by the market) .

Prahalad, whose famous bottom of the pyramid (BOP) theory has become a core text of philanthrocapitalism by promising profits, poverty eradication, and empowerment all in a seamless package. 9 But “the fortune and glory at the bottom of the pyramid are a mirage,” says Aneel Karnani, of the University of Michigan. ”10 Karnani and others have produced detailed evidence to show that many of the case studies used in support of BOP involve consumers who are not poor at all, and that the products and services that are sold by micro-entrepreneurs have less market penetration and productivity-enhancing potential than is claimed, so they will fail to produce sustainable incomes.

28 As in these examples, too much CSR is a case of one step forward, two steps back, giving with one hand and taking with the other. After all, if business wants to save the world, there are plenty of opportunities to do so at the heart of their operations: pay your taxes as a good corporate citizen; don’t produce goods that kill, exploit, or maim people; pay decent wages and provide benefits to your workers; don’t subvert politics to pursue your short-term interests; obey the regulations that govern markets in the public interest; and stop creating monopolies and other market manipulations so that other firms can prosper and wealth can be more widely shared.

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