By Fernande Raine and Valeria Budinich, co-leaders of Ashoka’s Changemaker Economy initiative
Is contributing to social impact good for business? Furthermore, can a passion for fixing society’s toughest problems co-exist with a culture that commits to the bottom line first? Do we need to change our organizations to make this work?
To all three questions, Ai-jen Poo and Sheila Lirio Marcelo would answer “yes.” These entrepreneurs think big and differently as they navigate their large organizations successfully. Ai-jen, a social entrepreneur and co-founder of the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance, has opened up valuable services to millions of clients through legislative changes. Meanwhile, Sheila, CEO, chairwoman and co-founder of Care.com, is reinventing the economy of care, serving millions of families and caregivers in 16 countries.
Both entrepreneurs are obsessed with the same idea: to transform the domestic labor economy into one that provides dignity, fosters a society of empathy and enables everyone to thrive to their fullest potential. But while one of them operates a citizen sector organization, the other runs a publicly traded corporation. Both entrepreneurs are serving the same clients and working together as vanguards of a new form of social-impact partnership: the hybrid value system.