Better Late! Than Never
A Chilean retailer operates just like any other business. The difference is profits are devoted to social projects.
Solidarity through Profit-Sharing
Great minds think alike. Right?
Though seemingly exclusive, business strategies and social initiatives often emerge from a combined process.
This crucial understanding helped form Late!, first conceived in 2003. Late! was the vision of Pedro Traverso, who wanted to combine his understanding of business with his passion for helping social agencies and organizations. Ultimately, he wanted to develop a company, based in Chile, that was “100 percent” social.
A Late! Collaboration
Five years later, Traverso met four people who shared his vision and sense of purpose for a socially conscious business entity – one that would dedicate its profits to non-profits.
In March 2009, Late! launched its first product. It then made its first donation in July of that year. Since that first donation, Late! has given nearly 200 million pesos to more than 20 non-profit causes.
Late! operates just like any other business. It pays employee salaries and sells various products like purified water and milk. The difference is that all profits are devoted entirely to social projects instead of being withdrawn by company partners.
To achieve its mission, Late! also needed to make their consumer products the same quality and price as typically available products. It has succeeded in doing so.
Today, Late! gives consumers the opportunity to make a concrete contribution by buying a product where the proceeds, they know, will be dedicated to positive and community-based programs. It is unlike corporations that donate periodically to causes or create temporary profit-sharing programs; Late!’s design of consistent community support fosters trust and credibility among consumers.
By forgoing notions of excessive profit, Late! has started to promote a new type of market economy. It is more a more equitable way of doing business that is transforming mass consumption into an act of solidarity.