Catholic Companies Demonstrate A New Way Of Doing Business

Catholic Companies Demonstrate A New Way Of  Doing Business

by Egbert F. Bhatty
published in on Oct.23, 2009

Catholic Companies throughout the world are showing that it is possible to do good – and do well.
That, it is possible to be a socially responsible corporate citizen. And, at the same time, make a profit.
Free Market Capitalist Corporations, like Wal-Mart, or Exxon, or GE [General Electric], or GM [General Motor], or Ford, are limited endeavors. They manage to a single bottom line – maximization of shareholder return.

By contrast, a few Catholic Companies, some 750 by recent estimates, spread in some 50 countries across the Continents, and operating in the service, manufacturing, and retail, sectors manage beyond the single bottom line.  They manage to the triple bottom line – balancing people, profits, and the planet.

A far more complex management exercise than the one-note Samba of the Free Market Capitalist Corporations. These Catholic Companies, and this new business model, called the Economy of Communion, was born in 1991 during the founder’s, Ms Chiara Lubich’s, visit to the local Focolare [Italian for “hearth”] community in Brazil. She saw that despite Focolare’s practice of the first century Christian ideal of Sharing [Acts 4:32] there still were favelas, shanty-towns, all around.

To combat this poverty Chiara conceived of starting businesses which would make a profit. But, use these profits to help the community in which such businesses were located.

A third of such Catholic Companies’ profits are retained for business development. A third are used to educate the Community in the Culture of Giving, in the Economy of Communion. And, the final third are used for the uplift of the Community in which the Catholic Company is located.

A very different business model from that of the Free Market Capitalist Corporation. Which seeks only to maximize shareholder return. And, do nothing for the Community in which it operates.

Egbert F “Burt” Bhatty has worked 30 years as an Analyst at the American Embassy, New Delhi, and at British [Dunlop] and American [Chase Manhattan] multinationals. He is a Certified Catechist. Holds a 3-year [part time] Certificate in Foundations For Christian Ministry.

Material published in, unless specifically noted, may be used freely for non-commercial purposes. Attribution, though not required, will be greatly appreciated. “…..freely ye have received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8 KJV -- King James Version]




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