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October 2nd was the birthday of an amazing social champion: Mahatma Gandhi. While most know of Gandhi’s amazing non-violent struggle to bring freedom to the country of India, what you might know is his support for the social enterprise movement, he said: “Industry should regard themselves as trustees of the poor.”
While Gandhi might not have envisioned this movement to be in the form of CSR and social enterprise, these campaigns clearly reflect the motives behind his statement. Gandhi believed that people had the power to create social change through their daily actions. For example, he created a campaign to boycott British-made goods in an effort to make a statement to the British Raj that was occupying India.
So while we like to the think the ethical consumption movement is relatively modern, it has its roots in some of history’s most profound social movements.
We look to Gandhi for advice on how to live life properly and how to rise against our hurdles, perhaps we should also look to him as a frontrunner for the social enterprise movement as well.