The past 50 years has been characterised by unprecedented advancement in entrepreneurial business ventures, with countless high-profile entrepreneurs paving the way for innovative and pioneering business initiatives, whilst making small fortunes in the process. However in my opinion it is the late great Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, whom I believe is most inspirational, for she ultimately shaped the notion of ethical consumerism, incorporating her moral stance as a human rights activist and environmental campaigner into her business operations.
Roddick’s cosmetics company, stocking products made from natural ingredients, prohibited the use of animal testing and was one of the first to promote fair trade in under-developed countries, thereby appealing to her customers’ concern for environmental and societal issues. It is owing to this that The Body Shop is the second most trusted cosmetics brand in the UK and ranks 28th among the world’s top brands.
In addition to her principles of creating cosmetics, Roddick partook in countless philanthropic endeavours, founding the Children on the Edge charity in 1990, and giving away her fortune totalling £51 million in 2005 to various campaigns. This in turn led to numerous awards and recognitions for her work, the most notable of which was in 1988 when she was knighted by the Queen.
Therefore, despite her humble beginnings, Roddick became a successful business women and entrepreneur not through the pursuit of mere profit, but through considering wider issues and acting responsibly in the process.
Inspired? Find out how you can get involved in ethical and charitable business during Social Enterprise week, 26th-31st January http://bit.ly/151wH7v
Cardiff University Enterprise Team Student Intern
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Enterprise – Careers & Employability,