Awards chance to be involved

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Want to go to space?

Richard Branson just did. Jeff Bezos is about to. Elon Musk, no doubt, will do.

Would you?

Apparently, Musk is all about Mars – getting a back-up plan for when we finally destroy our home planet.

Bezos (word has it) is all about the moon – a place where we can do the planet’s dirty work without stuffing up where we live.

Branson is quoted as saying, “I’ve wanted to go to space since I was a kid .. to look back on our beautiful Earth and come home and work very hard to try to do magic to it to look after it”.

There’s increasing chatter in business circles about social licence and purpose – what Forbes Afdhel Aziz translates as “business as a force for good”.

Overwhelmingly, the research shows that a business with purpose is more attractive to consumers, employees and investors. As it happens, the younger the consumer, employee or investor, the more a business purpose matters to them. Boomers and Gen Yers care about purpose but Millennials and Gen Zers care more.

But it’s not just far away luminary publications referencing “unicorn” businesses (that rare breed valued at more than $1 billion) talking about the need for businesses to consider their impact for “good”.

The head of the New Zealand’s Productivity Commission, Ganesh Nana, sees it happening globally and in New Zealand. He says, “if we are serious about productivity, we have to look after our people, and we have to look after the communities in which we operate” (Sunday Star Times, July 4, 2021).

Of the 2958 business enterprises in the Waitaki, not many have a “manifesto on purpose” or even a catchy tagline.

Yet when I speak with local business owners, their conversations are littered with the reasons they do what they do.

Our local businesses don’t need anyone to tell them they are part of our community – they already want to make an impact for good, they want our region to thrive.

That’s why I’m 100% behind the Oamaru Business Collective Business Awards, launched in partnership with the Oamaru Mail.

Social licence is an indication of community approval and trust. This is our opportunity to get behind the businesses that keep our community working, that sponsor our kids, that deliver maybe not Mars or the moon, but a whole heap of local impact for good.

Next week you can start nominating. Will you?