We have discussed the importance of social empowerment of women and minorities. Part of this empowerment comes in the form interacting with the economic system that contributed to how our society is set up. A purely social form of empowerment through micro (individual) or even macro (collective or communal) interactions can help to transform our personal values, opinions, and ideologies. However, lasting change is helped along with a financial incentive or commitment to dismantling oppressive values, opinions, and ideologies that do not serve the desire for a just society where everyone is empowered to make their own choices without fear of not having the ability to meet one’s basic survival needs (food, shelter, and the like).
What is it?
An economic initiative is a set of actions that can involve directing monetary funds to a certain cause or goal. This goal can be socially responsible or act in private interest. The economic initiatives we are interested in have to do with economic empowerment. In this context, economic empowerment is directed to those who have scarce access to economic opportunities such as jobs that do not involve exploitation of any sort or do not have the advantage of generational and inheritable wealth on their side.
Why does it matter?
Economic initiatives, and the resulting economic empowerment, matter because it is an intentional effort to change an oppressive and hugely hierarchical economic system without a economic ceiling into a slightly more just one. Specifically, it is important for private companies and organizations to engage in these initiatives because the private economic sphere has greater flexibility in the impact they have on their consumers and consequential social and environmental effects in that it is widely up to consumers to keep these private entities running. Consumers vote with their wallets every single day. The implementation of economic initiatives that align with consumers’ beliefs makes it even easier for these people to cast their vote through companies who want to make a positive difference.
In our capitalist world, economic initiatives can be one of the most effective in creating social good when the initiatives benefit those who are oppressed by the current economic system. The average person is more easily able to bypass arbitrarily defined castes and change people’s lives for the better when companies commit to initiatives that aim to reach that same end.