YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some folks about their favorite human-centric organizations. Here are their responses.
What company do you admire that recognizes the humanity in business? What makes them unique?
Starbucks earns my admiration both for their personalized branding as well as for their corporate leadership’s strong stance on matters of social equality. Their “Meet Me at Starbucks” campaign was a great way to focus on the personal experience of being in a Starbucks cafe all around the world. I love how it showed both the regional uniqueness and the unity of Starbucks as a meeting place.
– Jared Brown, Hubstaff
Specialisterne trains and hires high-functioning individuals with autism and place them in high-paying jobs as software testers with technology companies. They also take people who are capable of high-quality work but who are unemployed and turn them into valuable assets for companies. It improves the business and the lives of the individuals and their families while also reducing strain on government programs.
– Josh Teigen, Crossfox Innovation
I admire Method because their commitment to health and the environment forms the very basis of their business model. They’ve made safe, effective cleaning products free from hazardous chemicals, and all their packaging is biodegradable. They identified a problem to solve in a niche without healthy solutions, and they’ve been wildly successful in delivering value that impacts the greater good.
– Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com
Google is truly a pioneer in future technologies. The self-driving car, Google Fiber, and the recent Project Soli display Google’s unwavering desire to improve society. They also pursue bold innovation despite the chance of failure, such as Google Glass. At the same time, Google maintains a high level of sustainability in their core business operations while also taking care of employees.
– Sathvik Tantry, FormSwift
5. Virgin Management
Virgin Management recently announced a year of paid paternity leave for their employees. I admire their recognition that it isn’t just mothers who are concerned with their family life. I believe that the better work/life balance a company can, the happier and more loyal employees will be.
– Laura Roeder, MeetEdgar.com
Over the past 20 years, Subaru has donated more than $50 million to organizations and charities that they (and their customer base) care about, including organizations focused on animals, the environment, education, communities and much more. The company gives back to the world with every Subaru that customers buy, and they make it known what they care about as a corporation.
– Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com
7. Jack’s Soap
Thousands of children die each day from diseases that could have been prevented easily through the simple act of hand-washing, making access to soap in poorer regions critical. Founder Bridget Hilton created the for-profit company Jack’s Soap to meet this need: for each bar of soap sold, the company donates a bar of soap to a child and educates him or her on the importance of proper hygiene.
– Demi Pietchell Newell, Mixed Media Fusion, Inc.
Apple, at its core, understands people. Even more, they understand that people don’t know they want. It was in Steve Jobs’ DNA – creating products that fulfilled an unforeseen need – and it’s still present today. Most businesses look to satisfy an existing customer need, but Apple helps people realize what they don’t know they want yet, and that’s something very unique.
– Mike Seiman, CPXi
TOMS sells shoes around the world. With its One for One project, every time someone purchases a pair they provide someone in need with a pair of shoes in return. They have expanded their efforts by helping to restore the eyesight of one person in need when a pair of their eyewear is purchased. Also, for every bag of TOMS coffee purchased, they provide one week of clean water to a person in need.
– Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
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Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective (http://businesscollective.com), a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
In the Social Age, it’s how we engage with customers, collaborators and strategic partners that matters; it’s how we create workplace optimism that sets us apart; it’s how we recruit, retain (and repel) employees that becomes our differentiator. This isn’t a “people first, profits second” movement, but a “profits as a direct result of putting people first” movement.