“Zebras fix what unicorns break. Unlike Unicorns, Zebras are real”
Is there another way to grow companies, with different funding schemes and without the continuous desperation to raise an enormous amount of equity?
The answer is a big “YES”, and it comes in the form of a new animal art HR high-tech zoo: The zebra company.
Zebra companies are characterized by doing real business, not aiming to disrupt the current market, achieving profitability, and demonstrating it for a while, and helping to resolve the societal problem. Therefore, Zebra companies are also referred to as both black and white: They are for a profit and a cause. Zebra start-up is designed from the ground up to help rather than exploit, to make a profit, and yet solve problems of society. Their motto is “Growth and Social responsibility are not binary choices but they complement each other.” They also are mutualistic which means they bond together in groups, they protect and preserve one other. Their input results in stronger collective outputs.
Toya is a gaming platform designed to motivate and inspire young girls to reach their full potential. The digital gaming industry has historically lacked content for women and girls or has limited content to a very narrow definition of femineity based on beauty. Toya is challenging and changing those norms by providing games that put girls into the role of a hero, and by offering games untethered to gender. In this way, Toya serves gender equality through its products.
Tech isn’t a silver bullet it doesn’t solve problems especially the biggest challenges we face today. An app won’t address the homelessness crisis in big cities like Delhi or unit bitterly divided partisan politicians. Look hard outside of Silicon Valley and you’ll find promising Zebra companies. Social enterprises are growing as an option these days, while social enterprise looks forward to growing profit with taking care of a social cause in mind, zebra companies do so without disrupting the economy yet deriving a solution to one or more societal issues.
Companies in the p[ast decade have done more damage than the entire human race in the last five decades. While the concept of zebra companies or a social enterprise is basically working towards undoing the damage done. While it might take a lot more time than the time for the damage caused. It sure is a good start.
Contributed by Ayush Parmar content writer at Mitti Ke Rang
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