When we mention the term ‘economy’, often what springs to mind are industries such as technology, finance, and manufacturing. However, there’s a different kind of economy, less talked about, yet equally relevant and crucially important — the Purple Economy, also known as the Care Economy.
The name, ‘Purple Economy’, stems from the concept of attributing a ‘purple’ colour to the care sector. This is primarily connected with the notion that care work, which often includes tasks traditionally associated with femininity and female roles, should be recognised and highlighted.
The care economy goes beyond the usual economic lens, incorporating social dimensions and elements of compassion, empathy, and human welfare. It emphasises human interaction, emotional labour, and, critically, caregiving services, which encompass a range of sectors like healthcare, social work, and personal services.
Let’s now dive a bit deeper. The sectors within this economy, the essential companies, the current issues – we’ll delve into all of these aspects for you to grasp a comprehensive understanding of the purple economy.
The Purple Economy involves several key sectors. Each sector contributes significantly to the global economy while making sure that the people’s needs are sufficiently catered to and compassionately cared for. Namely, we have:
Firstly, the healthcare sector is a pivotal part of the Purple Economy. It not only includes healthcare facilities and medical professionals but also ancillary services such as pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, digital health services and companies offering at-home care solutions. Major companies in this sector include giants such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic.
Educational services is another crucial sector. This sector covers everything from public schooling, private instruction, tutoring services, to online education platforms. Renowned players in this field include Pearson, McGraw Hill Education, and Coursera.
Then we have the social services sector. Here we find organisations designed to protect and aid those in need. This can include assistance in areas like job placements, providing food to the needy, housing assistance, and social advocacy. This sector includes NGOs, community organisations, and larger entities such as The Red Cross or UNICEF.
The personal services sector, which comprises services that help individuals manage their lives better, is also an integral part of the Purple Economy. This could include companies offering services ranging from housecleaning, gardening, personal training, to life coaching and counselling services.
When we talk about the Purple Economy, healthcare is one of the first sectors that springs to mind. This all-encompassing term stretches far and wide, covering various jobs and services. Let’s look at what it does and why it plays such a pivotal role in our society.
At its core, you can consider healthcare the ‘heartbeat’ of the Purple Economy. This sector is where expert professionals tirelessly work together to ensure everyone’s physical and mental well-being. With the buzz of hospitals, the calm serenity of care homes and the dedicated focus of various medical research facilities – it’s clear how varied and vibrant the sector truly is.
In this significantly important sector, several influential companies stand out. These companies continuously strive to make a positive impact in countless lives while shaping the sector’s growth and progress.
Despite the healthcare sector’s distinction and importance, it faces several challenges:
The Purple Economy bears immense potential to drive social progress, with healthcare at its heart. Despite the hurdles, ever-evolving advancements and unwavering dedication from its workforce keep this sector flourishing, adding value to the economy and society alike.
Within the sphere of the Purple Economy, educational services hold immense value. This sector encompasses a broad range of roles that provide the foundational skills and knowledge needed to navigate through life. Whether it’s a child’s early development in a nursery, a teenager’s science tuition, or an adult’s further education course, the people within these roles are building our society’s future.
The landscape of education is evolving, and the sector now includes:
With the digital revolution, education has become more accessible, diverse, and inclusive.
Despite the dominance of public institutions in this sector, we cannot ignore the footprint of private enterprises. The likes of Pearson PLC, known globally for their publishing and assessment service to schools and corporations, and Coursera, an online learning platform offering a comprehensive range of courses and degree programmes, are significant players.
Furthermore, we have companies like TAL Education Group, which offers after-school tutoring services for students in China, and Chegg, which aims to remove the barriers that stand in the way of the education all students deserve. These firms are not merely businesses; they are influential entities that shape how education is delivered and accessed across the globe.
The predominant issue is the pay disparity witnessed amongst educators, often extending to gender and racial inequities. It’s a strenuous task, addressing societal norms and battling systemic biases, but it’s one that we must continue to push forward.
In addition to pay disparity, the lack of funding in educational institutions is another challenge. This can limit resources available to students, affect the quality of education, and subsequently impede students’ progress and opportunities for growth.
There’s also the task of integrating technology into education in a balanced and helpful way. While online learning can offer greater accessibility, it can also isolate students and exacerbate existing inequalities if not handled with care and competence.
However, each challenge is spurring changes and developments within the sector and is an integral aspect of the ongoing evolution of the Purple Economy. The continued contribution of the educational service sector to the Purple Economy shows the persistence of collective effort and emphasises the crucial role of care within our societal fabric.
Social services provide support and benefits to individuals and families in need. Encompassing a range of services, including child protection, domestic violence assistance, job-finding support, and disability services, it plays an undeniable role in stabilising society. The sector carries the responsibility of alleviating disparities within society and promoting equal opportunities for all.
While state-run organisations and not-for-profit bodies make up a substantial proportion of the organisations in the social services sector, several private companies are playing a significant role in this vital domain:
There are a few challenges that need to be navigated as the social services sector develops and expands. Again, there’s the issue of funding. Public sector spending on social services is often squeezed, leaving many organisations to contend with tight budgets that can limit the level and quality of services they can provide. This funding issue is often interconnected with other challenges, such as the ability to recruit and retain high-quality staff.
The second major issue in providing social services relates to the expectations and needs of those receiving services. As our society continues to become more diverse, so does the demand for a wider range of social support services. Meeting these needs requires continuous adaptations and innovations from social service providers.
Finally, there’s the challenge of measurement. Quality in social services is sometimes difficult to quantify, and there’s an ongoing debate about how best to measure the success and impact of these services. After all, the true value of social services is not captured by conventional measures.
As we traverse through the sectors of the purple economy, let’s take a closer look at the personal services sector. This sector is immensely diverse, offering a broad spectrum of services ranging from personal fitness and beauty to domestic assistance and spiritual direction. Some notable aspects include:
Worldwide, several companies stand out in providing personal services with large client bases. Some of the noteworthy players include:
Despite their essential nature, personal services face numerous challenges, which you may already know. A few problems:
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has cast a spotlight on gaps in sickness and health coverage in this sector. As you can gather, confronting these issues is not only critical for the well-being of millions of workers, but also for the future growth and sustainability of the Purple Economy.
Looking ahead, however, the future of the Purple economy promises growth and transformation. While automation and AI could replace manual work in many blue- and white-collar jobs, the purple economy’s care- and service-oriented sectors remain largely sheltered from full automation due to the intrinsic human element required. This will see the purple economy rising as a critical growth sector.
The Emergence of New Services: With the development of technology and ongoing demographic shifts, we can expect an array of emerging services in this sector. More importantly, these services will keep expanding to cater to the rising demand for personalised care, learning, and assistive services.
Increase in the Workforce: As this sector broadens, the demand for professionals in the fields of health care, social work, education, and personal services will similarly rise. The future may see a purple-collar worker wave, which will not just form a significant part of the employment structure but also significantly contribute to global economic growth.
However, it’s not all a bed of roses. The Purple Economy will need to confront challenges in regulation, remuneration, and workforce development. Sectors within this economy are generally underpaid and undervalued, with low wages and poor working conditions. Yet that fails to detract at all from its vital importance. It’s particularly up to financial service providers and investors to seek out financing opportunities, as we remember, we’re all in it together.
Next in this series of modern economies, we’ll cover the ‘yellow’ economy, also known as the attention economy, that places the needs and desires of people at the forefront.
The author of this text, Jean Chalopin, is a global business leader with a background encompassing banking, biotech, and entertainment. Mr. Chalopin is Chairman of Deltec International Group, www.deltec.io.
The co-author of this text, Conor Scott, CFA, has been active in the wealth management industry since 2011. Mr. Scott is a Writer for Deltec International Group, www.deltec.io.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text are solely the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Deltec International Group, its subsidiaries, and/or its employees. This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service, or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
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