The commitment by an entrepreneur to living by a holistic set of beliefs and principles as a basis for sustainable decision-making in their venture. This typically involves a commitment to good governance, sustainable sourcing, fair employment and ethical sales practices, even though this might have a cost implication or a negative impact on growth. It becomes a strong entrepreneurial attribute when the founder(s) go beyond what is necessary and follow merely what is compliant, and actively seek to lead by example and set higher ethical standards in their field.
The key concept is balance. All entrepreneurs are likely to accept the need to grow in some fashion. It is the need to do this with an awareness and commitment to a balanced set of values that is key to this attribute.
Doughnut Economics, popularised by Dr Kate Raworth, is a useful and practical introduction to values-based approaches to entrepreneurship. Towards thinned, Dr Raworth poses interesting questions for how this “Doughnut” approach can be used in an everyday lifestyle and business context.
What are the implications for your customers, or users? What are the implications for your products and services? How does the “Doughnut” influence your thinking about the long term growth of your venture?
“Tom Caddick’s great grandfather first started clearing the oceans more than 50 years ago, when he created the Bootle Barge. He was responsible for taking waste and cargo from ships in the Liverpool docks and transporting it away using his barges.
Now four generations later, his water cleaning invention is still operating through the family business Water Witch.
Tom, 23, and his family still operate from Bootle to this day, where all the specialist boats are made from the ground up”. Liverpool Echo