Are You An Ethical Entrepreneur?
For many this has become the norm-everyone is doing it being the justification One of the main problems is a lack of a good example being set by business leaders. In a 2018 Sunday Times article it was quoted that the typical UK FTSE 100 CEO now rakes in £4,500,000 a year which is 170 times the average earning and more than 400 times the earnings of someone on the national living wage. The most disappointing factor is that these CEO’s then only remain in their position for an average of 4-5 years, which is not a good indication that the long-term sustainability of the organisation is a major priority for them. Shareholders and employees are objecting, but it will take some time to change this pattern.
The degree of stress and tension in business today is another factor, one which is proving to be very costly not only in terms of the financial losses, but in the well-being of employees. A high degree of dissatisfaction with business conditions has been reported due in part to the excessive pressure being imposed on employees at all levels, to do whatever it takes to make the short term targets.
As a result of all this there has been a serious erosion of trust in business over the last 10 years. A number of studies show that only around 30-35% of people interviewed trust business people, one of the lowest.
APPEAL TO ENTREPRENEURS AS THE INSTRUMENTS FOR CHANGE
I am currently a Guest Lecturer at Regents University Business School, on their Entrepreneurship Programme and have also lectured at other business schools in the UK, US and India. A common response from many young people is that they are not pleased with what they hear about the working environment in big business and as a result are considering starting their own business.
From a report carried out by PwC, millennials already form 25% of the workforce in the US and account for over half of the population in India. By 2020, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce.
The basic premise of the Ethical Entrepreneur values-based approach is that, in addition to possessing necessary business skills like finance and marketing, the management of a business needs to be guided by fine values like honesty, courage, and determination. If they are put into practice, then fine business values like credibility, innovation and productivity will manifest which are the keys to establishing a long term sustainable, responsible business. This will benefit all those involved including employees, clients, suppliers and members of the community. When new ventures are built on this strong foundation of fine values, then respect, trust and admiration for business leaders can be restored and business can better serve their important role in society.
A good introduction to this can be obtained by visiting our website www.ethicalentrepreneur.org and reading the 4 brief introductory texts offered in the Learn More section. They cover:
- The Importance of Entrepreneurship
- Values in Business
- Ethical Entrepreneur Values Profile
- Ethical Decision Making