Many start-ups are well-positioned to benefit from values and ethics that are defined by “social innovation.” The new economy offers ample opportunities to make money while also making the world a better place.
In this blog from the Social Innovation Challenge, we present the case for a business model that includes social responsibility and good citizenship.
“Social Innovation” is a concept you may have heard over the last few years, an approach where entrepreneurs and small businesses make corporate social responsibility and philanthropy a part of their operations.
Not only is it considered good citizenship, but it’s also good business. A fair number of customers prefer to buy from socially responsible companies.
So how do you, as a micro small business, apply this concept to your offering?
- Through financial support/investment/gift certificates for programs and events
- Through in-kind support, including equipment, supplies, and skills
- Through employee volunteering for tasks, projects, boards of directors, advisory boards, committees, ambassadorships
Fair enough, but what are the benefits to your business? Are there tangible benefits to you and your business? Consider:
- Give back to the community
- Add to brand name/awareness in customer community
- Sales leads/referrals
And for your employees?
- Satisfaction and recognition
- Employee networking
- Employee learning
- Employee recognition
How do you achieve benefits?
- Name on organization web site, programs, events
- Press release, articles, media interviews and videos
- Video story of person(s) on receiving end talking about the impact of your support –upload to web site, social media, intranet, employee newsletter, newsletter, emails and text messages, LinkedIn
- Presentation to employees, clients, suppliers, community and business organizations by the supported group’s clients
- Recognition on program and event material
- Awards, prizes, swag
Simple steps can make a big difference. When you put yourself in your employees’ shoes, you’ll have a good perspective on what it’s like to work for a company that gives back.