The Financial Times is reporting that that entrepreneurs should be expected to give back to society. A report has suggested that this would produce an extra £4 billion in philanthropic donations.
The report comes off the back of a report from the Hazelhurst Trust and New Philanthropy Capital (NPC). The report argues that there should be an “informal agreement with entrepreneurs to encourage a culture of giving”. The Trust points to the example of the USA, where there is an “implicit understanding” that successful entrepreneurs should give back. The report recommends a number of approaches to encourage greater philanthropy among British entrepreneurs, including better advice by professional services firms, working more closely with fundraisers, and “moves to promote and celebrate philanthropy”.
However, Darren Eden, founder and Chief Executive of Spirit Ventures, says that donations is not the only way entrepreneurs can give back to society.
“For me, ‘giving back’ is not simply donations. Entrepreneurs have more resources than simply money. Entrepreneurs are of most value to philanthropy when they are making the most of the same talents that made them successful. Entrepreneurs should be actively engaged in their communities, forming networks that can come up with innovative solutions to social problems.”
This is corroborated by Angela Kail of NPC, who says, “Some of our biggest givers can also wield influence over their friends and colleagues to do more to address social problems”.
“That is why I am so enthusiastic about the Eden Foundation”, says Darren. “It recognises that encouraging entrepreneurialism and cooperation in others can deliver innumerable benefits to society. Yes, the Foundation will provide money, but also coaching, mentoring, real office support, and most importantly, an alliance of like-minded organisations that can act as a powerful support network.”