Creating A Positive Impact Through Business
Long gone (thank goodness) are the days when a business was just a money-making machine. Yes, making money is a key driving force for most business owners because, let’s face the facts, we all need money to survive. However, a growing proportion of entrepreneurs are also founding businesses to create a positive impact on the world.
These people are known as purpose-driven entrepreneurs, impact entrepreneurs, or conscious entrepreneurs. Whatever you want to call them (or yourself, if you are one of them), they are the trailblazers paving the way for a new business landscape and a better world.
What it Means To Be A Conscious Entrepreneur
“Conscious entrepreneurship means replacing a focus on financial performance with sustainable business decisions. It is a way of doing business that is aware of our symbiotic relationship with the world.” – Demee Koch, founder of De Moi
As a species, we are responsible for the environmental issues experienced worldwide. Furthermore, many of the systems we have created are exploitative and cause damage to human health and well-being. To be a conscious entrepreneur means to reject the “profit at all costs” approach to business and choose a more humanistic and sustainable path instead (without sacrificing profit!)
How to Create A Positive Impact Through Business
Do your research
You don’t have to know everything from the get-go. Educate yourself on ethical and sustainable practices in your industry and learn from what other conscious businesses are doing. B Corp is a great resource for this kind of information (and when you feel up to it, you can sign up to become one yourself!)
Identify the impact that your business is having on the environment by conducting a sustainability assessment (if you are a small to medium business owner, check this out). Then reduce your environmental footprint by, for example, transitioning to renewable energy, sourcing eco-friendly materials, and reducing waste wherever possible.
Uphold your social responsibility
Make social responsibility a part of your business strategy by supporting local communities, promoting diversity and inclusion, and giving back to causes that align with your values. You can also incorporate employee volunteer days into your company policy!
Create a positive work environment
Encourage a healthy work/life balance, provide opportunities for learning and growth, and ensure that everyone in your company earns a living wage. A business is nothing without its people, so treat your people like the valuable assets they are!
Transparency helps to build trust and credibility amongst your stakeholders because it shows that you don’t have anything to hide. So, communicate clearly about your business practices (i.e., supply chain, environmental impact, and social initiatives), seek feedback, and take responsibility for all of your actions.
Measure your impact
It’s easy to lose momentum if you don’t have something holding you accountable. So, set measurable goals and track your progress toward achieving them on a regular basis.
Examples of Entrepreneurs Who Are Creating A Positive Impact Through Business
Michael Kuech and his partner, Kristel, are on a mission to provide the world with the highest quality superfoods through their company, YourSuper. Not only are they improving the health of the people who buy their products, but everything they do in their business is underpinned by their strong moral code, which is what determines how they treat the people they work with.
Through her company, imagilabs, Dora Palfi is closing the gender gap in the tech world by sparking girls’ interest in coding from a young age. For many reasons (some of which we cover in this blog), diversity offers huge value to businesses, so Dora’s mission is one that will have a wide-scale positive impact.
Justin Cochrane is another example of a conscious entrepreneur. In order to play his part in combating the climate crisis, Justin founded Carbon Streaming, which he intends to grow into the world’s largest investor of carbon credits.
Why Conscious Entrepreneurship Is Good For Business
Creating a positive impact through business isn’t just a “nice-to-have,” it is actually a good business decision! Consumers have become well aware of the unfair treatment that many business owners subject their employees to and the negative impact that many businesses are having on communities and the environment.
And these conscious consumers are choosing to take their money elsewhere. If your approach to business is ethical, transparent, and sustainable, you are going to attract a large (and growing) cohort of people who really care about these kinds of things.
Besides, creating a positive impact gives an entrepreneur purpose that is greater than themselves. Having a purpose is the best way to stay motivated and inspired. And when you are motivated and inspired, you are far more likely to be able to weather the challenges that come with entrepreneurship, therefore increasing the likelihood that your business will survive (and thrive) in the long term!