Humanitarians in Business
For many the words business humanitarian may seem like an oxymoron. Often businessmen are thought of as individuals who are only interested in their own well-being, and humanitarians seek the welfare of others. The reality is some of the most successful businessmen have been amazing humanitarians as well.
Charles Feeney was born mid-19th century and went on to become cofounder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group. These shops have become world famous as tax free havens to buy high end goods. Since the 1980’s Feeney has secretly given away billions of dollars to philanthropic endeavors. It has been written that Feeney would like to give away all of his money and die broke.
Humanitarian and accomplished businessman Ehsan Bayat is another important titan to take note of. Born in Ghazni, Ehsan earned an engineering degree in the U.S. before returning to Afghan and creating the Afghan Wireless Communication Company. Mr. Bayat also owns Ariana Radio and Television Networks, and TSI (Telephone Systems International). Part of his humanitarian efforts founding Bayatfoundation.org which serves to “nourish the lives of Afgans”. This charity helps with education, water, needy families, as well as women and healthcare.
Co-founder of Intel Corporation, Gordon Moore has been listed on Forbes’ billionaires, 400 lists. Moore was chairman of Intel and part of the original wave of inventors in Silicon Valley. He also donated the biggest financial gift ever to a college or university when he gave Caltech $600 million. Since the beginning of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, they have given away hundreds of millions of dollars to science, conservation, and technology.
They may not be as famous as Oprah, Bono, or Bill Gates but their contributions to both business as well as philanthropy are equally as important. These three businessmen worked hard to become educated and build immense businesses that impacted the world. Now as humanitarians they are leaving a legacy of giving that will likewise change the world. They are also proving that just because someone can be savvy and determined in the hard arena of business, don’t mean they can’t be in tune with to the heartbeat of humanity.