by Jörg Arnold, November 2022
Fairpicture isn’t a non-profit nor a bottom-line-driven company. As a zebra startup however, we draw from the principles of both. Because of this, establishing our Board of Directors is a particularly unique process, requiring a great deal of care and transparency.
In Murambi in the region of Kirundo, Burundi, a new pumping well is drilled.
Photo: 2021 Burundi, Fabrice Mbonankira/Norway Church Aid/Fairpicture
What makes zebra startups different from their counterparts is the way in which they challenge historical perceptions in the Global North of how “successful” businesses operate. The key marker of a zebra startup is its commitment to making responsibility a core business principle. What naysayers deem impossible, zebras prove is possible: impact and financial sustainability can be harmonious. When a zebra startup succeeds, they are both profitable and create systemic positive change in the world.
In the coming months, Fairpicture will reconstitute the Board of Directors. Up until this point, two of the three co-founders have formed this strategic body. This will change at the next general assembly. The board will be expanded to five seats, with one of the founders stepping back from board responsibilities. The aim is to make the Board of Directors as diverse as possible so that the most important topics for Fairpicture are addressed with differing perspectives, expertise and lived experiences. With the exception of the representing founder, members of the board of directors will only perform strategic tasks.
Ali al Homily one of the workers who was building the walls of Dier Mar Elian in Syria after it was bombed by the ISIS in 2015.
Photo: 2022 Deir Mar Elian, Syria | Hasan Belal/missio/Fairpicture
Each board member will be responsible for an area that is key to the strategic management of the company.
Gender, age and cultural background of the board members should be balanced.
In the next two years, Fairpicture will grow as an impact-oriented business. In addition to growing our business and clientele, a core focus is developing stronger relationships between the Global South and the Global North that are profitable for everyone involved. The Board of Directors will support this development with its expertise and experience.