“Entrepreneurship only has a future if it is always alert to questions arising from the company and/or its societal context.” (Alfred Rexroth)
It happened most recently when stock markets stumbled during the financial crisis in 2008, that the prevailing economic system overhauled itself. And sometimes such crises are necessary to create ground for the new. Making repeated temporary repairs to a dilapidated building doesn’t solve its structural problems. And it’s just as ineffective to paint a new colour over mould in a damp cellar. In economics as elsewhere, sharing is caring, as we can see for example in the fact that considering new, future-fit forms of business has resulted in the growing popularity of “responsible ownership”, which has been around for 130 years – and is now being adopted beyond just the usual suspects.
Large companies, SMEs and even start-ups from various sectors, industries and contexts are seeking out ways to rethink and expand the family business model – through consistent separation of responsibility and capital. Without shareholder interests binding them, true self-determination can take place in the service of the respective business idea. It means assets no longer accrue for the enriching of individuals, but instead serve a purpose, a goal, and the future. After all, profit itself is neither good nor bad – the important questions are how is it gained and how is it used. And also, how can these concerns be appropriately institutionally expressed in a suitable business form.
Neuguss took the logical step in implementing this idea with the founding of the Neuguss Foundation on 25 November, 2019, and in March 2021 it completed the transfer of 100% of its business shares. The structure of a foundation company targets a long-term approach, and sustainability in a comprehensive sense, i.e. ecological, economic, and social. For Neuguss and its participating companies, the foundation creates independence and economic activity free from the expectations of third parties. It also becomes a real community of values from an institutional perspective. However, it is not only values which are self-determined, but also the tempo at which business is conducted. The foundation’s responsibility is to preserve the agreed values – not in the sense of conservation, but rather as a perpetuation. The concept of endowment is not only about gifting and giving over, but also instigating action. This takes us to another fantastic aspect of this model. At our company, we don’t just keep things “in the family”. We also consciously connect ourselves to our environment, as earned profits go into charitable, worthy projects and are therefore used as a means of social design. In fact, sharing is not only caring, but also creating. Selflessly and in devotion to others.