As a relatively “naïve” idealist, I have always been critical of the idea and existence of for-profit businesses (although it seems hypocritical about it given that I started my own for-profit business at the age of 15). I’ve never really been fond of the idea, and was very wary about studying business as my undergraduate degree.
I thought that my idealist views would be reinforced in the G200 Youth Summit because we all feel so strongly about world issues. We talked about what we can do regarding the issues, and that was when I realized that the world is not ideal. We all want to do good to the world, but the fact that we have limited resources was constantly brought up because it was just not realistic to do everything. Our limitations forced us to develop strategies in choosing and prioritizing our suggested solutions for the respective issues.
It was only at this moment that I realized the essence of for-profits. Businesses of such nature always aim to generate the most output with the least input possible. Sadly, it is indeed a fact that resources are limited, especially monetary. For-profits are particularly good at managing within the limiting factors. Such constraints force decision makers to be rational, which in turn contributes positively to the organization. One of the impacts rational decision making have on for-profits is the organization’s long-term sustainability. No matter how much I want NGOs to operate for the longest time possible, having a non-profit model is just not sustainable. In this case, a for-profit’s lifespan would drastically surpass a non-profit’s. If an organization or social enterprise were to contribute positively to the society, having it to be sustainable instead of a one-off charity would be much more impactful and helpful.
It took me a long time to come to this realization, but I’m glad that I have after being stimulated by the G200 Youth Summit discussion. And I guess after today, I feel relieved because studying business doesn’t really go against my moral values after all.
Blueaholic is listening to: MAMAMOO – Melting album