Jean Bernou is the president of McCain Continental Europe. He advocated for social business at the world forum 2016 in the city of Grenoble. Interview of this social entrepreneur.
Jean Bernou McCain: un #SocialBusiness est viable & rentable, il vise à éradiquer la pauvreté, le bottom line n'est pas la finalité #WFRE16 https://t.co/PMNmvnrs4x
Harry Jennings: Will social business become the most common form of business in the future?
Jean Bernou: I think that, in the future, social business will of course continue to grow. But it will take a lot of time before we change our society completely and we will continue to do normal business. However, I think that we will have both together, helping one another.
H.J: Do you think that one day, social business will be the dominating form?
J.B: I don't know. Maybe something will happen and we will have a new form of organisation, a new look on how to do business or a new way to organise our society; maybe organized into communities. Look at the change that occurred over the last two centuries, a lot has transformed since then and a lot will transform during the next century. Today, poverty is an issue, so we have to tackle it and social business is one way to do that. Nobody knows what issues we'll face in a hundred years from now.
H.J: What brought you to become one of the few man who left his personal interests aside and decided that he would serve a cause greater than him, greater than his personal interests?
J.B: Actually, this is a question of values. Why do people do things? It is because they believe in them. Why do some people want to become an Olympic champion? It's because first, they have the skills and secondly, because they really want to become an Olympic champion. They do their best. Maybe they don't succeed, but they try. It is the same for me; I'm trying to help Professor Yunus to eradicate poverty. Okay, maybe I'm winning, maybe I'm losing. I don't know, but I try.
H.J: Money and social projects, is it compatible?
J.B: Today, it’s easier for entrepreneurs to acquire funding for a social business rather than for a regular one. The banks will lend you money more easily if it is to build a social business. This could also change of course.
H.J: Have you got a message for the youth?
J.B: You are the future. You have to change the world. And you don't have to accept what the old guys such as me are imposing to you, just like the politicians of today are doing. It's a pity that today, in France, we have an election where you can't find any young people. You need to change things. We are the past not the future. You are the future. And a few of us would like to help you build a better future for you!
Harry Jennings – ESPOL Lille