YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some more folks about the importance of companies being socially responsible. Here are the responses.
Why is it important that businesses integrate social responsibility into their business model? And how have you done this in your organization?
1. Successful Companies Are Social Companies
At Killer Infographics, we donate one project per month to a nonprofit in need while also supplying deeply discounted rates to all 501s we work with. We do this because we believe that visual communication impacts positive change. Making social responsibility a core tenet of our values allows us to build a company that makes a difference, instills pride and sets a standard.
– Amy Balliett, Killer Infographics
2. Changing the World Is Our Business
While it is important for everyone at a company to focus on what they create, it is far more important to work towards the underlying purpose. Giving back is a constant reminder that aligns people with that mission. In our case, 15Five gives back to the planet. The entire team votes on the worthy recipient of one percent of our revenues and we witness how our collective efforts impact the world.
– David Hassell, 15Five
3. Nothing Brings More Happiness Than Having a Purpose
One of the keys to building a happy team is to give everyone a sense of purpose. For a teacher or someone working at a nonprofit, the cause is clear. For-profit companies can have a positive impact, even if their product is just a watch or a mobile app. To create our impact, we partner with nonprofits to raise funds and hire youth interns from disadvantaged backgrounds.
– Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
4. Doing Good Disrupts the Day-to-Day
Helping others without the inherent layer of expectation created by a statement of work empowers people’s efforts. We enable our team to experience this through an annual nonprofit project, a paid volunteer day off every year and an annual holiday fundraiser for a new cause.
– BJ Cook, Digital Operative Inc
5. Social Responsibility is Contagious
When partners and customers see that you care about making a difference, they want to join in on your efforts as well. Not only does a socially responsible component help sell your product; it also gives you another reason to stay passionate about building your company. Our brand, for instance, gives 15 percent of its profits to help veterans get jobs through the Hiring Our Heroes foundation.
– David Herzka, David Fin
6. Making an Impact Means Having a Purpose
We ask ourselves every day how we can make a positive impact on the world. We work on internal projects such as cancer research applications that focus on how it’s helping. It gets everyone excited to get up in the morning. Knowing the impact that we can make isn’t something that we take lightly.
– Thomas Cullen, LaunchPad Lab
7. Starting Within Helps Achieves a Common Mission
We work with charitable organizations that we believe in to advance their cause. In doing so, the goodwill we engender within and outside of our company has been made known. We work with vendors that embody social responsibility. Our latest was Linden Resources, a printing firm that believes in a workforce diversity, including people with disabilities.
– Souny West, CHiC Capital
8. Your Actions Reflect Your Values
I look for ways to integrate social responsibility into every aspect of my life, and encourage others to do the same. At Lean Startup Co., we do three things very well: we offer scholarships, we offer tiered pricing, and we have a process for attracting women and people of color. Our values resonate through every decision we make (e.g., choosing partners, speaker content, hiring, etc.).
– Heather McGough, Lean Startup Co.
9. Giving Back Helps Attract Top Talent
Millennials see that business has the opportunity to fix many of the world’s problems. They expect social responsibility to be integrated into the DNA of the company and their jobs. At my company, PACT, we exist not just to sell clothing, but rather to use mass production to actually improve the lives of garment workers. Every employee is contributing to that mission. It attracts and keeps talent.
– Jeff Denby, PACT Apparel
10. If Everyone Gives a Little, We Can Accomplish a Lot
Give what you can because giving back is contagious. Bump Club and Beyond serves a community of moms and expectant moms around the country. Early on, we developed a plan to integrate giving back to local organizations who support women and their families. We host donation events, encourage our moms to donate unneeded products to relevant organizations, and match their donations when we can.
– Lindsay Pinchuk, Bump Club and Beyond
11. It’s a Competitive Advantage
Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of how socially responsible their sellers are and if your brand falls in their good books. It might just give you the competitive edge. Warby Parker, the hip spectacles brand, built a name around theirGet One, Give One Campaign. This allowed them to differentiate from the large monopolist competitor Luxotica.
– Pratham Mittal, VenturePact