The world today faces numerous socio-economic problems like climate change, humanitarian crises, epidemics, conflicts, and inequalities. Increasingly, these problems are capturing the attention of many in the business world and companies are understanding they have a large role to play in addressing such problems.
More than any other generation, the millennials are highly conscious of social issues and are seeking to make a difference. They are concerned about impacting the environment in a positive manner, promoting healthy living to serving others, educating those in need and facilitating access to credit. In short, people want to contribute to making the world – a better place.
Businesses are not only focused on making money these days, but they desire to make a difference. Innovations are driving people and they are looking forward to sustainable development. If you are looking for the best business ideas to make money and transform the world, here are some that you need to consider:
Solve a Pressing Problem with a Mobile App
Due to the growth potential in the mobile app industry, it presents the best business opportunity in the world for a company that wants to change the world while making money. Predictions show that this market will grow by 385% by the end of 2021. Driven by innovation, mobile applications are already changing the world in unimaginable ways.
From simplifying communication, facilitating funds transfer and improving productivity to enabling multitasking and monitoring day-to-day health or fitness activities, mobile apps are helping the world solve some of its most pressing problems.
Among developing countries, mobile applications are reducing inequalities by increasing financial inclusion and improving education access. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between mobile phone penetration and economic growth. On average, a 10% increase in mobile phone adoption yields a corresponding 0.8% GDP across 135 countries.
Examples of mobile applications that are helping solve world problems include India’s Swasthya Slate, a gadget that helps with diagnosing, tracking and managing large numbers of patients, Kenya’s iCow that enables farmers to monitor the gestation period of their animals and locate veterinarians, and M-Pesa, a money transfer app that facilitates funds transfer over texts. Mobile apps are particularly popular among young people with statistics showing that this population spends more time on their mobile devices than they do watching television.
If you want to make a positive change, consider developing a mobile or web-based application to address a problem that is of concern to you. The app could focus on a single issue, telling them how to improve their lives or adapt to global changes – like embracing a greener way of living.
Use Drone Technology to Solve Global Problems
The enormous potential of drones is dawning to civilians as these unmanned aerial vehicles that were initially developed for the military gain traction among ordinary consumers. With a projected market opportunity of $100 billion by 2020, drones are promising to be the next big technology in changing the world.
Already, the technology is being used by several companies to address global problems. In Brazil for instance, Qualcomm Wireless Reach is using drones to increase agricultural production, improve the economic status of farmers and reduce environmental degradation.
In India, the company is improving the safety of fishermen using drones. But perhaps the company that utilizes drones to change the world on large scale is Zipline. Since 2014, the company has been using drones to deliver medical and food supplies to populations that need them most in Africa.
Currently, a collaborative effort led by NASA is conducting experiments on the use of drones to monitor hurricanes. If the experiments work, drones will help in predicting hurricanes that currently pose a threat to the lives of many people across the globe. At the University of Florida, another team is experimenting with hurricane-resistant drones to make them enter hurricanes and capture important information including pressure, humidity and temperature levels.
Help Businesses Meet Buyer Expectations with Chatbots
Although they were dismissed initially, chatbots have become a valuable asset for different kinds of businesses. Due to growing internet penetration, the sales & marketing landscape has changed significantly, with customers getting numerous options to choose from and competitor differences are reducing significantly.
Buyers are exhibiting increasing sophistication in their purchase journeys. Their expectations are high, making it difficult for companies to rely on human effort to meet them. It is this scenario that has pushed automation, specifically the use of chatbots, in the marketing space.
Statistics show that most internet users find chatbots helpful with 64% of them saying the provision of round-the-clock service is by far the best feature on chatbots. Further, an estimated 1.4 billion people who currently use messaging applications are ready to interact with chatbots. However, chatbots alone cannot deliver a completely satisfying experience for customers; you need to have phone support and help desk software to back them up.
Setting up a money-making business that builds chatbots can go a long way in changing the world by helping people make better decisions. For instance, chatbots can be used to create awareness, build empathy, drive civic engagement, fight pollution, share health information, and encourage healthy living among others.
Educate People through an Online Course
Creating online training courses is a great business idea to make money while changing the world. Today, the demand for such courses is on the rise. A 2014 survey conducted by Babson Survey Research Group showed that an estimated 33% of college students enrolled for at least one online course. Coursera, Udemy, and edX are some great examples of online course platforms that are helping solve global problems of poverty and access to education.
If you have a specific skill or knowledge, you can make a difference in the world by sharing those with people who need them while making money. By offering online courses, you can help people to become a better version of themselves while making money. There are different courses you can offer online, these include:
- Teaching a language
- Taxation guidance including how to file tax returns
- Starting and growing a small business
- Educating people on healthy choices
- Providing business support services to small businesses
It is not in doubt that the growing global challenges have a negative effect on businesses. As such, businesses can’t afford to turn a blind eye and hope that things will somehow change for the better. Instead, they should broaden their view beyond minting money and see how they can contribute towards a better world.
There are several ways they can help change the world, and one of them is executing or supporting the implementation of ideas that solve global problems. From empowering people with skills and knowledge to building mobile apps and utilizing drone technology, businesses can create models that solve pressings problems and help make the world a better place for everyone.