March 5, 2012 at 9:36am
Imagine talent pools (local, regional or national) focused on "on-demand skills" run as public private partnerships, where companies, governments and colleges give access to education and jobs to individuals that sign a personal commitment to themselves and to the pool. The talent pool is incorporated as a benefit corporation, so it can have social and profit bottom lines. Social objectives could benefit those considered "underserved students" in today's education system (low income, first generation, ethnic minorities and adults) while private capital would still strive for profit (lower profits but higher returns -socio-economic- than a totally open market). Employers Win: tax incentives, better candidate pre-selection and matching, on-demand skills, access to a 'diverse pool' by design, etc. Authorities Win: a good social policy, better educated pool to attract investments and job creation, potentially more tax revenue by compensating tax credits to pool businesses with the overall tax revenue from their presence, etc. Colleges Win: better way to forecast demand for enrollments, additional revenue streams associated with new skills/ad-hoc courses, other services to the pool Individuals win: affordable education, increased potential to access a paying job.
In order to address the lack of capacity in the education sector, we also propose the creation of post-secondary institutions incorporated as BCorps, with a dual social and profit bottom line (neither for-profits nor non-profits, but socially minded colleges with access to private capital).
By 2018, the United States projects that 60% of the jobs will require some sort of post-secondary education (after high-school credential). Meanwhile, education costs are skyrocketing and under-privileged groups have less and less money and less and less education, because they can't afford it. Drop out rates associated with social or economic reasons are alarming. An uneducated nation cannot innovate, let alone lead or do any good in the World, particularly of the size of the United States.
Meanwhile, the post-secondary education system is unable to serve more people, yet 20% of the working age population will need to be reskilled to have a job by 2018. For profit institutions are being formed, but are under severe attack for malpractice in several cases.
Jobs, in essence, will be created somewhere else and the standard of living will suffer, with the risk of making America a poorer country with low paying manufacturing jobs to serve the needs of richer countries that have managed to attract investments due to availability of skilled talent.
The creation of low-profit business structures with dual bottom line (purpose and profit) like L3Cs, BCorps, Flex Corps is enabling social entrepreneurs fulfill societal and business needs. Sectors like "education" and "labor" would be able to address the skills gap in new ways.
Think of colleges that are neither for-profit or non-profit, but hybrids, where faculty could have stock options and there's a dual bottom line (purpose and profit).
Think of recruitment companies / talent pools designed as social partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sector, to serve the education and labor markets in areas where there's a skills gap (technology, engineering, health) while providing opportunities to disadvantaged populations.
A tide that raises all boats, preserves the elite institutions, creates news ones, provides education to the under-educated at affordable prices, and creates individual, institutional and business commitments that will improve the chances of people to make more money, consume more and bring investments with higher paying jobs because talent is available, ready and targeted to the needs.
"Low profit" ecosystems would help connecting needs with solutions while making social investments.
Education, jobs, social mobility, attraction of new investments and preservation of the fundamentals of capitalism while increasing social innovation.
- Business model (B Corp)
- Networking and $ raising
- Proof of concept
Juan F Suarez, philanthropy executive and PhD student working on his thesis and book "The Wise Organization"