The definition of a social entrepreneur, according to the Canadian Social Entrepreneur Association is “someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to make social change.” In other words, instead of being primarily driven by profit, a social entrepreneur measures success in their business by their social and community impact.
We’re in a unique position, as owners of our own businesses, to design and build our passion projects to have a greater impact than one just in our bank accounts. And whether you base your entire business model on a social cause dear to you or you just want to give back and do what little you can with the platform you’ve built already – there is always a way to do some good and shine some light on behalf of your brand.
Here are some examples of how to incorporate some good into your business model.
Offer products/services that address a social issue directly.
In other words, your products or services directly impact a social cause. A personal fave of mine is 4Ocean. They are “actively cleaning our oceans and coastlines” through the sale of bracelets made from recycled materials. These bracelets go towards funding their coastal cleanup efforts and keeping their business afloat. Pardon the pun 😉
Give a % of profits to a charity of choice.
Another beautiful and simple way to give back is by donating a portion of your profit to a cause that aligns with you as an individual and/or your brand’s values. A stellar example of this is Steadfast Society, that donates 5% of every membership they sell to charity:water.
Volunteering: 2 ways.
A unique way to encourage volunteering amongst your team, no matter what size, is to encourage them to dedicate part of their time at work to a “volunteer allowance.” This means, they put it time working for you as they’re out there in the world creating a positive impact. Sure, that time is out of your pocket, but if you encourage empathy, volunteerism and ultimately community leaders, those skills transfer to their job with you. It’s a win-win. And depending on the size of your business, you can always start small. Start with 2 hours per month for volunteer allowance.
Another way to incorporate volunteerism into your team and bring your team closer together at the same time is to plan annual events, whether that’s an annual fundraiser that the whole team becomes a part of OR a volunteer day where you all come together and get out in the community to support a cause. Depending on how your team is structured and its size, this could look different for everyone. But, it’s definitely something to think about!
Is it just you at your business right now? That’s okay! That means you have even more flexibility to get out there and be a leader within your community. An let’s be real, we all know that’s good for business too.
If you’re looking to build more goodness into your business model – or even just solidify and get some clarity around your business model in the first place – contact us today. We have a unique program now open and accepting applications that we would love to chat with you about.