Richard Branson is using his purchase of British bank Northern Rock to offer small loans to the poor and urged Wall Street bankers to use their bonuses to help repair the economic damage they caused. His book, Screw Business as Usual, urges companies to not only focus on profit, but also on doing good for the world. "Microcredit has worked in Africa and India, maybe it could even work in somewhere like the United Kingdom". Microfinance traditionally targets women and, anlaysts say, has default rates of just a few per cent.
There is another important reason for integrating the social imperative into the bottom line, research by MIT reveals that human beings are purpose maximizers as well as profit maximizers, that above a certain economic level, people are more motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose. These attributes apparently are also generational, and become increasingly important as you move from generations X and Y to the new millenias. Companies that are divorced from purpose are not as profitable, the only way to do business in the good society--a bottom line that integrates ecological, social and economic imperatives.