In previous decades, many people believed that a business’s sole purpose was to turn a profit. However, as the negative effects of global phenomena like anthropogenic climate change, pollution, the destruction of the biosphere, and the unsustainable consumption of resources became more pronounced over the years, it’s also become clear that the 21st century enterprise can do so much more than simply make money. More business owners have stepped up as stakeholders in the enactment of positive change in their communities. They have also become vocal champions of social values and aspirations like community-building, caring for the environment, reducing poverty, and eliminating corruption.
Innovation has been the key to this altruistic new approach to doing business, and indeed, a number of Singapore fastest growing companies 2021 have put a premium on innovative methods that utilise new tools, technologies, and systems. Although difficult at first, the act of going against the grain has its rewards, as now, more than ever, it is proving to be a crucial element in bridging the gap between concentrated profit and widespread social change.
When it comes to transforming society for the better, what exactly can innovation-driven businesses do? To answer that question, here’s a briefer on what’s possible when innovation is part of the formula for doing business for good.
Innovation-Driven Businesses Can Inspire Local and Regional Job Growth
When innovation-driven businesses succeed, they open doors for many other people outside their initial circles. These enterprises can grow the local economy through yet-unexplored means and populate both the local and regional labour force with fresh new talent.
In a world where unemployment and low job satisfaction remain pressing issues, forward-thinking businesses can empower the labour pool and harness human capabilities in brand-new ways. Their breakthroughs should be celebrated both inside and outside their communities.
Innovation-Driven Businesses Can Increase Competitiveness within Their Home Industries
The efforts and achievements of an innovation-driven business can also serve as a wake-up call to other industry players. Other companies can be motivated to up their game and take on similarly innovative approaches in the spirit of healthy competition.
Complacency, or acceptance of things as they are, is bad for both businesses and the wider communities in which they operate. But when one business dares to do things differently, others may follow suit—and, as a result, create a positive ripple effect in the world of their stakeholders.
Innovation-Driven Businesses Can Showcase Important Advocacies on the World Stage
It’s now become apparent that enterprises can use innovation to elevate their longstanding advocacies. There’s sufficient proof of that among the local and international businesses that have a strong presence in Singapore.
Housing solution company BillionBricks, renewable fuel company Neste, sustainable seafood grower Shiok Meats, and urban farm Sky Greens, for example, are creating processes and methodologies that are geared toward environmental sustainability and conservation. Automobile manufacturer Hyundai and ride-hailing app Grab, on the other hand, are leveraging their proprietary technologies to improve transport and public mobility, while genome sequencing company Illumina and technology firm NCS are pushing for technological strides in healthcare. Finally, Singaporean game developer Sea is using gaming technology to build vibrant and passionate digital communities. These are just a few relevant examples among many.
Indeed, revenue isn’t the only positive result that can come out of the work that these businesses do. The innovative approaches that they take on can highlight the contributions of local scientists, engineers, and artists and give them the opportunity to be recognised by an international audience. These approaches can also attract greater public awareness for the business’s cause, and in the long run, greater participation in the work of change making.
Innovation-Driven Businesses Inspire Meaningful Engagement with the New Generation
Lastly, businesses that prioritise innovation can use technology to align with their home communities’ social beliefs. Tech can help these enterprises keep the pulse on what drives their consumers’ behaviours, and it can provide the building blocks for upholding the core values these behaviours are based on.
For example, young people in Singapore are taught values like environmental stewardship and social justice from an early age. Many of them pattern their consumption and brand engagement activities accordingly. Innovative tools and technologies can increase a business’s responsiveness towards these values and hold business leaders accountable to good governance in their decision-making.
Beyond building their respective brands, enterprises can use innovation to model exemplary behaviour and make the younger generation happy to engage with them. This burden doesn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of entrepreneurs and investors, but they can be strong role models for society nonetheless.
Admittedly, it is not easy for businesses to innovate and to strive for more than just profit. Doing so involves a great deal of risk. But as shown in Singapore’s current business landscape, more people are accepting that risk and looking beyond traditional financial stimuli to achieve their mission and vision.
Today’s entrepreneurs have embraced their roles as problem-solvers, forward-thinkers, and ambassadors for social good. It’s a good thing that both the public sector and the private sector in Singapore have realised this, and are now throwing their support behind this brave and inventive generation.