• Jo

WEconomy book review

There are many reasons why someone sets up their own business. One I often hear is that they want to have control over how they can make a difference to their community whether it be local or global. With the rise of social enterprise whereby your commercial interest goes hand-in-hand with your social and environmental impact there is an appetite for understanding how this is possible. Where most business books cover the importance of social media campaigns and networking, WEconomy was written specifically to help with the challenges of trying to start up a business and changing the world at the same time.

“In the WEconomy, you can make money and change the world – you can make money by changing the world. It’s that simple.”

It is written by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger of WE charity/social enterprise fame and Holly Branson from the Virgin family. The book is split into handy little chapters with lots of graphics throughout. Part one of the book covers their backgrounds and how they came into running businesses and charities at the same time.

Part two goes into more depth with examples of how businesses with a purpose have made an impact. The examples are varied from ones that the authors have personally been involved in as well as lessons learnt from multi-national corporation campaigns.

“Companies that do good are more likely to be trusted. Trust and reputation are precious commodities in today’s market”

I like to keep the book close to hand at my desk where I work. When I’m having a bad day and I wonder what the point is I like to grab it and take a few minutes to read a section. It’s useful to know that someone feels the same way that I do and that they succeeded at running a successful business and changed the world at the same time.

“…you don’t need to be a clone of Gandhi or Mother Teresa to succeed. In fact, we need ordinary people to fuel this movement…it is a call to action for every worker, consumer, entrepreneur, and CEO looking to infuse more meaning into their daily lives”

So where do you start? Part three of the book covers just that. To be honest I found this the hardest chapter to work through but I think that was more down to the fact that there are a lot more questions asked of the reader and it makes you stop and think. You will want to grab a notebook and pen and start to make notes. Chapter 20 is the best one to go to as it provides a useful summary.

If you want to feel inspired or simply looking for some examples of how social enterprise can work then this book is for you. There are occasions when you question whether it is truly possible to make business profitable and create change but even the hardened cynic will be hard pushed not to be encouraged by the examples provided. Can you help make business change for the good of the global community? This book will certainly help you if you want to start now.

“With the onslaught of information comes empowerment. The capacity of one individual. The capacity of one individual to influence positive change is stronger that it has ever been.”

WEconomy – Written by Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson & Marc Kielburger. Published by Wiley, 2018

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