In Praise of the Private Sector (2)

Posted: 13 January 2011, in Blog

The Vital Spark Blog began (Oct 2009) with an uncharacteristic outburst by the SSEC CEO against those social enterprise folk who whinge about and rail against the private sector in the best traditions of the Judean People’s Front and The People’s Front of Judea. (See “The Life of Brian” 1979)

I know how she feels as I’ve recently been in the company of folk who regard Tommy Sheridan as a prince among men and capitalism as the fount of all evil – and I do mean all evil. I tried to correct a wee nyaff with his “money is the root of evil” stance that it was a biblical quote “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (Timothy 6: 7-10) and that he was missing the point. Money is not inherently evil.

The atmosphere soured a bit what with me mentioning the Bible and going further by saying that the hard left had a downer on social entrepreneurs because they did not work for the State. To my eternal shame, I have to confess that I may have muttered a wee bit about his “cadre’s” organisational inabilities, “shindigs” and breweries just to keep the atmosphere festive.

Anyway, what sparked this attack of the hermeneutics was my comment that Kibble teaming up with a private builder to address the employment needs of their young charges was “a good thing”. I’d have been as well complimenting the Pharaohs on getting the pyramids completed without using the Cairo DLO.

So, here is a wee suggestion. Find a private sector partner (preferably a local SME person) and ask them to meet up with your staff team and ask him/her if they fancy getting into business with you. These folk generally know how to make money and many have a high need to contribute to their community – what more do you want?

All the most successful social entrepreneurs I know could be described as promiscuous in the sense that they network all over the place to get things done. They are not ideologically blind; it is just that they know how to make things happen even with what may appear to be the unlikeliest of bedfellows.

As I said to wee Spartacus “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty”. (Proverbs 14:23).

As his jaw dropped and I could see the military wing of Judeans approaching like JC Rowling’s Dementors, I concluded with a final quip before shooting the crow.  “He knows nothing but thinks he knows everything. That clearly points to a political career”. (George Bernard Shaw) – and he was a socialist.