As more startups thrive and millennials rise in the ranks of 21st century business, companies are trying to find new ways to innovate and compete -- spending tons of money on idea labs, acquisitions, competitions and outside counsel. That's helped management consulting become a $200-billion a year industry, spurred on by the wave of Silicon Valley startups shaking up all kinds of industries, from taxis to thermostat-makers and hotel chains.

I have plenty of ideas for how companies should change their culture to encourage innovation, but I want to focus on the one driving force that has given my business a great deal of opportunity to innovate: social enterprise.

In case you're not familiar with the term, a social enterprise is an organization which takes a more holistic view of success into account, measuring human and environmental impact alongside a company's profit and loss. To be a social entrepreneur is to apply commercial strategies to profitably solve a problem while making the world a better place. It's how I built my career and business.

Take this example of how our company's not-for-profit foundation, Planeterra, turned a simple idea into something that not only helps the people in the areas we travel to, it benefits our customers and bottom line.

The tropical island of Caye Caulker in Belize, where we host thousands of travelers each year, is a beautiful place. The people who live there had been increasingly giving up traditional jobs like fishing and moving towards tourism, but the schooling available to local teenagers wasn't adequate; school enrollment for that age group in Belize is just 40 percent, and on Caye Caulker children usually drop out by age 12.

In researching new ways to bring tourism dollars to the community and add excursions to our trips, one of our employees discovered a local organization with an innovative idea: have teens lead bicycle tours of the island. It was a solution that would give both our tours and the high school students a competitive advantage, so we raised funds to purchase 40 bicycles and kickstart a storefront from where local youth could work. That way, income generated on the tours would go back to Caye Caulker's Ocean Academy high school to support quality education and career training.

I'm proud to say that some of our Belize tours now bring travelers on a two-hour, student-led Bike with Purpose ride that teaches them about the area's nature, history and culture. And everyone visiting the island has the opportunity to rent a bike and embrace the locals' motto of 'glow slow' for a little while.

It was a simple idea that, with a little bit of corporate backing, turned into a cool program that benefits the community. School enrollment on the island is now at 90 percent. That benefits our travelers, giving them more opportunity to interact with local people and see the island through their eyes. And it helps us tell an inspiring brand story that transcends our business. We wouldn't have come up with it if we hadn't been looking for ways to improve our company through social enterprise.

Looking at traditional business from a fresh angle - one that considers the social impact of your products and services - will help you and your teams come up with all kinds of new ideas. The Belize program is part an aggressive corporate commitment we made last year to develop and integrate 50 new social enterprises into G Adventures products in the next five years. By 2020, we will spend $5 million bringing these community development projects to market. Each one will not only make our business more competitive, it will benefit the local people who welcome our customers.

We're certainly not the only company making social enterprise work toward a more holistic bottom line. The success stories are everywhere, from Toms shoes becoming a $400-million company with their buy one, give one policy, to LUSH Cosmetics using story-driven marketing to promote key issues like human rights and environmental issues right on their homepage. Social entrepreneurship and social impact are on the rise among disruptive companies of the future.

That's important, because as the world grapples with thorny questions around globalization and economic development, and conservative governments come into power, business is going to need to play an increasing role in driving social and environmental well-being. I see that as more of an opportunity, than a challenge.

Doing good in the world is its own reward, but it can also provide the innovation you're looking for.