Making money through Gender Equality Products & Services
Some people love and support the free market, and others wish to do away with it altogether. However, unless one lives in a cave, it is not possible to avoid, ignore, or wish away the free market. The debate about the free market's advantages and disadvantages is an old one, and it will not be going away or getting resolved anytime soon.
There is, however, a middle path between embracing unchecked accumulation of private wealth on one hand and heavily regulated state socialism on the other. Positive or Conscious Capitalism works within the free market system to generate income while simultaneously making the world a better place. Positive Capitalism, therefore, contains a certain moral element. While unregulated, amoral forms of capitalism exploit resources for profit, Positive Capitalism sustains and nourishes the resources it utilizes, while also making a profit. Hence, Positive Capitalism is based on the notion of sustainability rather than exploitation.
"We would argue that with enough imagination and research, a product or service can be created to address almost every area of female inequality in societies, cultures, and regions across the world."
The most challenging and rewarding part of being a feminist entrepreneur is the beginning. You need to intensively research every single aspect of the problem you wish to address! It may require working in the field, it may require many interviews with women, it may require academic research.
It may take years of learning about the problem from all sides. And it will definitely require thinking and imagining 'outside the box'. But eventually, a business product or service will emerge.
With that in mind, research away and also think outside of the box. What we are talking about is so new that there are only a few examples of feminist enterprise so often it is necessary to imagine them!
We use examples from Hedonisia and other businesses in the current form of the Feminist Entrepreneur but we want to replace them where possible with more feminist enterprise examples. So that is a good area for research.
Remember we are not talking about just women owning business or journalists talking about women's issues. That's already been said and done. We are talking about products or services that directly reduce female inequality everywhere in the world!! That is where the revolution lies!
How can I make a living from making a difference?
There are already books on female entrepreneurs or 'femmepreneurs'! We are writing a book on how to be an EcoFeminist Entrepreneurs. A femmepreneur is a woman who owns a business. A feminist entrepreneur is a woman or man who creates a product or service that, in a holistic, practical and measurable way, supports gender equality.
Most people would like to work for positive change, but they are frustrated with the lack of options. In fact, there are many ways to change society. All the methods of creating change have their advantages and drawbacks and various degrees of effectiveness.
- You can demonstrate. Demonstrations have the power to bring light to many issues.However, it is hard to change the system by simply demonstrating. Demonstrations work only as long as people are willing to give up their time and energy to demonstrate. You can have success- just look at what demonstrations did in the ‘Arab Spring’. However, there are risks: many brave demonstrators died in the Arab countries and many of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement were beaten and dispersed in the United States.
- You can work through the political process. This can be very effective, but only if you have the resources to sustain the long battles necessary to change the system from the inside. This process takes time and can be very slow.
- You can try to make change through revolution. This is one reason why true democracy has major advantages. In other systems, if you really want change, you often have to fight in a revolution. Witness Syria and Libya. Side effects – possible death and/or torture.
- You can volunteer. This is a great way to make a change and a fantastic way to learn up close about an issue you are passionate about. However, in today’s economic climate it is difficult to volunteer for social or environmental change because people are too busy simply trying to feed themselves and their family.
- You can be a Feminist Entrepreneur! You can research and develop a business product or service that directly helps the cause you are passionate about. To paraphrase Gandhi, you create an activist business that helps to make the change you seek in this world!
Creating a sustainable moral business that makes a profit and addresses a genuine environment or social issue is not easy. It requires a constant commitment of time, money, and resources, none of which are readily available. However, if your product or service is genuinely creating positive change, it will attract others who share the same concern, whether they are investors, workers or volunteers. Another bonus: If you are being ‘paid’ to create change with a social enterprise, your expenditures are often tax deductible!
Forbes Business Article: Entrepreneurship is the New Women's Movement