Big businesses, entrepreneurship all bring out one negative connotation – greed and materialistic gain. This is regarded as a selfish trait and therefore is not an attractive quality in a human being. However, this is an inaccurate picture.
There are selfish and materialistic entrepreneurs and businessmen but it is not fair to categorize everyone under this. There in fact are many entrepreneurs and business owners engaging in philanthropic endeavors and the protection and the wellbeing of children and teens has been a very popular cause among the entrepreneurial circles. This is a rather refreshing take on entrepreneurship that has been mostly ignored due to the fact that most of such initiatives are done on a personal level and therefore are not subjected to vast levels of publicity.
Is business greed?
Businesses are set up, entrepreneurs launch their startups with the ultimate goal of wealth creation. And wealth creation is often seen as an aspect of greed and selfishness. In examination of the critics of capitalism, one would assume that it is a system that is entirely based and founded upon greed. For example, Karl Marx has constantly highlighted the negative values of free enterprise and capitalism where the poor distribution of wealth has led to the downfall of certain societies. However, what he does not realize is that in America, wealth creation and wealth distribution go hand in hand and therefore, the distribution of wealth is ensured.
As American economist Zoltan Acs says, American capitalism is set apart from industrial capitalism in its historical focus on the balance of wealth creation and philanthropy which enables distribution of wealth. He further states that contemporary economic theory pays no heed to altruistic or philanthropic behavior but American capitalism thrives upon it. He believes that an economic theory which does not acknowledge philanthropy cannot explain the real world.
One sees prominent figures like Bill Gates, the wealthiest man in the world and his initiatives in philanthropy. The Giving Pledge launched by Gates five years ago encourages the entrepreneurs of the world to donate a majority of their wealth to philanthropy and needless to say, he leads by example.