Social Entrepreneurship Example of Contributory Consumption

Shopping - Ecstasy [Photo by David Blackwell.] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Another interesting social entrepreneurship example involves the concept of “contributory consumption.”

This is the notion that every commercial transaction has the potential to contribute a small percentage to a social cause. In his pioneering book We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World, Simon Mainwaring proposes the idea of a “Global Brand Initiative”, which is an association of brands of all sizes which cooperate and collaborate, using the funds from contributory consumption to scale up their response to sever challenges around the globe.

This is a fascinating proposal for leveraging the power of the private sector to tackle everything from poverty, malnutrition and disease to infant mortality and illiteracy. The potential of the combined ingenuity and research and development capacities of the private sector to accomplish social change is huge, but whether or not such ideas will become a reality remains to be seen.