Important lessons

Socially responsible MBA graduates join the growing ranks of those giving back to community

Feb 21, 2009 04:30 AM

Corina Milic


Elissa Beckett’s new company has a strict 90/10 policy – 90 per cent of revenue goes to charity; 10 per cent goes back to the company.

Not the most profitable formula for a woman who holds a master’s degree from one of the country’s top business schools, but Beckett’s bottom line has a few more tiers than most.

“You’re accountable to more than your stakeholders,” said the Richard Ivey School of Business graduate.

Her “triple bottom line” insists on social and environmental responsibility while striving for fiscal gains.

“You can’t pretend it’s 40 years ago and you can run a mill and let your waste go into the river. Consumers are not going to let you get away with practices that are less than ethical,” she said.

Beckett and her business partners have joined the growing ranks of social entrepreneurs graduating from Ivey – a trend that’s taken hold of many students enrolled in the University of Western Ontario’s MBA program.

Social entrepreneurs use entrepreneurial principles to create and manage a social change-making venture. Success is not just measured by profit but also by the venture’s impact on society.

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