The CSR Tax Gorrilla

What have Sir Ronald Cohen, Starbucks and Ebay got in common, aside from being prominent as tax avoiders?.

They’ve all made substantial commitment to the social impact of their organisations.Ebay for example, has given us the Skoll Foundation, The Said Business School at Oxford and Skoll World Forum.

Putting aside the fact that your common or garden social enterprise has little chance of being invited to join. The gorrilla in the corner is this. We are all paying for it, through taxation we can’t avoid.

That’s not to say that good things aren’t happening through their funding . It just means that like government grants, the self sustaining social enterprise is at a disadvantage to that which we all pay for.

At one time, both Skoll and the Omidyar foundations had provided a medium to discuss social innovation. Pioneers engaged on subjects like profit for purpose and building a social marketplace.

Then we’d see the discussion withdrawn, both Skoll and Omidyar found reason to restrict conversation to an elite, the leading actors fading away to be replaced by business do gooders. Or so it seemed.

Then we saw these organisations passing off our work as their own.

Recently a relative newcomer, Sir Richard Branson told us that he was introducing a better capitalism, but it wasn’t going to sever his connections with a rather dubious oligarch.  His new capitalism is for you and me who don’t live on their own island,    .

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