Social entrepreneurship is at the core of Rubicon Property. But why did we select clean water as the issue we were going to dedicate our philanthropic efforts towards? When we started to write our business plan we established a set of criteria of how we would direct our charitable work. We wanted an issue that:
1. Had universal, non-partisan appeal.
2. Is a fixable global issue.
3. The outputs to our work on this issue could be measured.
Given the divisive political climate, the first criteria proved to be a challenge. The second criteria eliminated many issues, even urgent ones. The third criteria eliminated even more than the first 2.
How many important global issues have universal appeal, has an identifiable solution, and the number of lives impacted can be measured?
When we whittled down our list we were left with one. We were left with water.
42,000 people, mostly women and children die each week from lack of access to clean water. By building clean water wells in villages, the economic output of that village rises. Now that women and children don’t have to spend their day, or their week, walking to get clean water, they have time to pursue other activities, including education. More education in the village leads to more economic opportunities there.
Luckily, we connected with charity:water, a wonderful non-profit that already has the infrastructure in place to build wells in the developing world. Not only that, they have developed a model so donors can calculate how many people they have impacted.
The more we researched it, the more we became convinced that clean water was a pressing issue that needed help from the private sector. As outlined in our business plan, we believed not in giving money away after we’ve become successful. Instead, we wanted to give away money from day 1, even when our company wasn’t making a profit. We believed that if we intertwines a culture of purpose into our model that we would end up profiting from it. And so will others all over the world.
And that’s exactly what we’ve done.