Bright Light to the World
“I was happy to find a social enterprise and business model that can have a positive influence on the life of the visually impaired. I found a good opportunity to provide a direct help for them as a person who is visually impaired myself.”
Goodwill Industries CEO Jim Gibbons began losing his vision since the year he turned 10, finally being identified to have visual impairment around the age of 19. He specialized in industrial engineering at Purdue University and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School. He was in charge of product management and corporate M&A at a leading American mobile carrier for over 10 years. He switched his path to a social enterprise in 2008 when he became the CEO of Goodwill Industries after working as the CEO of National Industries, a company for the visually impaired. “I was excited to be working with Goodwill, because I finally had the great chance to have a positive influence on the world,” he said, revealing his satisfaction in achieving the dream to work for those who face the barrier of employment.
Continuing Social Contribution Activities
Jim Gibbons is playing a leading role in increasing overseas Goodwill Stores and spreading the social enterprise model to the whole world. He believes that this business will be able to develop further in the future in terms of size or influence, judging from the work ethics, leadership and innovative spirit of Koreans.
“Until now Goodwill Stores in Korea were mostly founded and operated by churches or government agencies. Companies mostly focused on providing ‘support’ by donating supplies and money or through volunteer activities. Hyosung is the first company to make a direct investment in founding a Goodwill Store. This will be a good role model for other companies to break away from making one-time financial donations and focusing more on meaningful and consistent social contribution activities.”
Gibbons will continue to provide job training programs and create jobs for the disabled or socially underprivileged people that are facing difficulties in finding jobs. The business model of win-win growth between a private enterprise and a social enterprise can also provide help in business knowledge including financial expertise and management know-how. Moreover, collaboration with a private enterprise will provide more diversified employment opportunities for the disabled people who have a hard time getting jobs.
Let’s hope that the 1st Goodwill Store Hyosung will make significant contributions to the employees, consumers and even the community.
“Hyosung is the first company to make a direct investment in founding a Goodwill Store. This will be a good role model for other companies to break away from making one-time financial donations and focusing more on meaningful and consistent social contribution activities.”