How entrepreneurs can put meaning in their businesses
Aside from creating wealth, they should also focus on managing, distributing wealth
More than creating wealth, businesses should also help in managing and distributing wealth in order to help improve the poverty situation in the country.
This is the central theme of the 4th International Conference on Business and Economy (ICBE) organized by the School of Business and Economics (SBE) of the University of San Carlos (USC).
“We are encouraging researchers not just to focus on creation of wealth or profit. But there should be distribution of wealth for the common good which is being highlighted by our speakers, that in business, it should not be just about profit. We should put meaning on why we do business,” said Dr. Challoner Matero, dean of the USC-SBE during the first day of the ICBE last Friday at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
And this should start in the academe, he added.
Not just for the students and professors of the USC, Matero said they are pushing for this agenda to other universities in the country as well as in southeast Asia through the ICBE.
Close to 30 universities all over the Philippines participated in the ICBE which concluded last Saturday. There were also representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia and Tanzania.
A total of 100 research papers focusing on different business topics were presented in simultaneous breakout sessions during the two-day conference.
Among these topics were: financial management, accounting, and risk management; competitiveness, social entrepreneurship and industry; social responsibility and green business; product innovation and development; marketing and consumer behavior; human resource management and productivity; ASEAN integration and economics; and finance and corporate governance among others.
For his part, De La Salle University professor and USC Board of Trustees member Dr. Benito Teehankee also underscored the importance of the business community in poverty alleviation.
“We need to work double time. Our society remains challenged due to persistent poverty levels. We need to have leadership roles, our business leaders need to redefine their role as community builders who will address the challenges we face in creative and innovative ways,” he said.
Teehankee was the keynote speaker during the ICBE opening last Friday morning.
He said the global business scene is facing “rapid changes” especially with advances in technology.
He said jobs that exist now may not exist anymore in the next few years especially with the continued integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workforce.
This is why he highlighted the need for business and the academe to equip their workforce and their students to be able to adjust to these advancements.
“If we can get businesses, faculty and students to learn about technology to enhance for the common good, then we will achieve milestones. This is one of the reasons for this conference. We have to change our mindset that this is not business as usual. This is business as unusual,” Teehankee said.
“The changes in the next five years will be nothing like the changes we have seen in the past 30 years. We have to work with all sectors and our goal is to help human beings flourish,” he added.
Meanwhile, Adrian Boyett Agbon, research associate of the Philippine Instituted for Development Studies (PIDS), said poverty continues to be a major challenge in the Philippines.
The agriculture sector, which he said had continued declining in terms of productivity over the years, needs to be looked into by government.
Agbon said that while the country’s economy may have seen improvements in the past years, this has not translated to reduction of poverty instances in the country.
Among the contributory factors to this, he said, are lack of productive jobs, low level of education, vulnerability to shocks both natural and economic, less access to credit, and low budget and poor targeting system of government programs.
But at the same time, Agbon said there has been progress in addressing poverty in the Philippines.
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