The Next Big Thing for Entrepreneurs: Sustainability

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“[In] the last century [the thinking was], if you wanna grow, you should find a good opportunity. But today, if you want to be a great company, think about what social problem you could solve.” – Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba

By Adjunct Professor of Management Richard Brubaker

When looking for leadership on sustainability, and for those who are going to deliver the solutions that are needed, the search typically begins with big businesses like Wal-Mart and Unilever and their leaders. The search tends to focus on firms, and leaders, who have large platforms from which they can announce their commitments to changing products, processes, and people as they execute their vision for sustainability. At times these announcements have been backed up by significant investments in time and energy.

However, as the challenges of maintaining balance between economy, environment, and society has grown more difficult to maintain, it is the role of the entrepreneur as visionary and solution provider that has begun proving the power of business, and markets. They have the power to not only solve crises, but to create a new business model.  One that starts with a vision of sustainability at the core, and captures an ecosystem of customers along the way that shows that a “sustainable business model” isn’t an unprofitable one. Read more on Forbes.com

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