At a Franchise meeting in June, Mark Smith mentioned that today’s business world is shifting in focus from being merely profit centred to taking into consideration the benefits of social work. His comment was of particular interest to me, since I have spent all of my career in the human service industry, with more than ten of those years actually in the social work field. Naturally, we all bring our past jobs to our current jobs in the form of experience. My training and education in social work has always helped me to be a better teacher. Our philosophy at SSE Kamishinjo has been based on social work principles from the very beginning. Though the principles themselves are long and boring, they basically speak of respect, putting the clients’ (students’) needs first, respecting the privacy of your clients (students) and building trust. These principles sound pretty familiar. I think all successful school owners must follow these principles whether or not they realize they are doing so. Does this mean we can’t care about money if we put our students’ needs first? Well, when I worked as a social worker, I cared about my clients and I still expected to be paid every other Friday. We all go to work to make money. The social work industry may be nonprofit but it is still business. Making money, wanting your business to grow and be successful , and caring about your students are all interconnected. I’m not sure if big business has actually bought into the principles of social work, though it would be a nicer world if they did. The perks for regular customers are definitely getting better, but I’m not sure that’s actually the same as ‘social work’. However, I do believe if you provide a service to people, you must be half social worker, half business person.