Jane's Short & Sweet: Purpose, People, and Profit
(7 pages of text)
In 2015, jane’s short & sweet, a United States-based for-profit business, regularly dedicated 25 per cent of its revenue to charities supporting its mission of improving the education and healthcare of marginalized women. The company also engaged in some environmental practices with respect to its use of resources. jane's short & sweet’s owner understood that she would have to make some trade-offs between people and profit while still attempting to remain consistent with her company’s social purpose and contribute to the resolution of its current problem—finding a way to fill a customer order that exceeded the company's production capacity. While addressing the company’s new labour needs, the owner needed to evaluate how the trade-off between mission and money would affect the company's labour source, hourly wages, pricing strategy, product price, and organizational goals. To do so, the owner had to identify and evaluate the options that would enable her to better fulfil her company’s role as a social sustainable enterprise.
The case provides students with the following learning opportunities:
- Compare and contrast what constitutes a social enterprise versus a sustainable development enterprise by identifying the components of each and evaluating jane's short & sweet accordingly.
- Explore the conflict between mission and money, examining the ways that a social purpose in a for-profit business affects the trade-offs between people and profit when deciding on labour type and wages.
- Understand the intersection of marketing and finance by calculating simple profit and loss statements and using these statements as one criterion for establishing a product price and pricing strategy.
- Investigate the ecosystem of social enterprises through the discussion of connections among for-profit enterprises, non-profits, and retailers.
- Make human resource, operations, marketing, and finance decisions while facing the challenges that are common to small- and medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises.
United States, Small, 2015
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