Lush Advice for Green Entrepreneurs
Small ethical companies selling out to big corporations has been a big topic lately. One proprietor who has not (yet?) sold is the founder of Lush beauty products, Mark Constantine. In fact he hopes to open another 500 stores. Many small entrepreneurs sell to large companies because they need the cash to expand their markets and products. Constantine would also like to broaden the ownership of Lush shares but is nervous about going to the stock market. He believes it can force businesses to water down their principles. He says " Maybe what we need is another kind of stock market where [ethical] companies can trade and it's understood they will abide by certain [rules] above others." Constantine is considering distributing free shares to his employees.
Given his strong stance, he has some wise warnings for green entrepreneurs.
â— Do not sell shares to investors whose moral priorities may be different from your own. If you do, you may come under pressure to take courses of action that are inconsistent with the ethics of your business. â— Campaigning should come as naturally to an ethical business as its core activity. â— An ethical business does not have to be an inefficient business. Many have "cut down their energy consumption because it is economic as well as green".â— Conventional wisdom is often wrong. Those are fighting words. :: Financial Times