Have you ever thought about starting a business? What was your main source of motivation to get started? Most people start a business because they want to improve their social standing or they’ve found an opportunity they know will be well received. These are both very valid reasons and two of the main motives entrepreneurs launch their new ventures.
In addition to these traditional entrepreneurs, there is also a small portion of the entrepreneurial population that we call “Social Entrepreneurs.” They are people who start a business because they want to make a difference in the world around them through philanthropy. They want to inspire their customers to make purchases because they know that all or at least a portion of the profit is going toward a cause in which they believe.
Social entrepreneurship doesn’t always lead to personal profit. Sometimes, it leads to feelings of accomplishment and knowing that you are helping a cause you believe in to make strides in the right direction. This type of business and mindset might not be for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take some best practices and apply them to your own business to make an impact on the world around you.
We are going to share with you 5 tips to become a changemaker through business.
One of the most common ways you will see companies work to make change through business is by pledging to donate a portion of their profits or products to a specific charity or cause. This works very well if you can align your brand with a cause that you know your customers are passionate about.
You can set up these donations to work in a few different ways. You can donate based on a percentage of total profit, donate based on sales from a specific product, or donate by matching donations given by your customers. Regardless of how you choose to donate, your customers must know how you will be giving to this organization and why you need to work with this specific charity. Once you have completed the donation collection period, it is good marketing to share the final total of what you were able to donate so that your customers know their purchases were being given to a cause they wanted to support.
Another very common social trend that businesses have been getting behind is sustainability. You see more and more organizations pledging to reach zero carbon emissions or reduce their environmental impact in some way. This is a great way to show your customers that you care about the world you live in and you want to do what you can to help improve it.
Showing you are striving to be a more sustainable business can be as simple as pledging to reduce plastic waste by switching to paper bags or reducing paper use by sending electronic receipts. Whatever your sustainability goal is, you will want to make sure your customers are aware of it and give regular updates on your progress. This will help them to feel like they are making an impact every time they purchase from you.
A sponsorship is another good way to align your brand with a nonprofit or other charity that you support. These typically help organizations with very specific missions and are good ways to get recognition for your business.
Sponsorships can start at a very low cost of about $500 to $1,000 but they can increase to totals of $25,000, $50,000, or even $100,000. If your organization has the means to sponsor a nonprofit, this is a good way to make a very big impact on an organization.
#4: Pro Bono Work
Pro bono work is a great way for your business to get involved in the community and show everyone what you’ve got at no cost. Do you have lawyers who can help veterans in need of legal support? Do you have electricians or plumbers who can help low-income families with home repairs? Do you have accountants that can help small business owners with their taxes? Then you’ve got what it takes to do some great pro bono work in your community.
This isn’t something that you have to offer all the time, but it’s a great way to remind your community about your presence once or twice a year. This is also a good way to get your employees involved and help them to feel good about the work they do all year long.
Mentoring is a way that you can involve your employees and you can help people in your community. There are several different ways you can use mentorship to help make a change through business, but the biggest way is by allowing your employees to mentor underprivileged youth. You can find a local school to work with and locate students who are interested in learning more about your business, whether it’s a trade or a specific job type.
You can also use mentorship as a way to help support small businesses in your area. If you are a well-established entrepreneur, you could take the opportunity to mentor new small business owners and help them get started on the right track.
These are just a few ways that you can use your business to help create a change in the world or community around you. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, just a goal and a plan to get things started.