The Human-side of Business: 5 Stories That Inspire Us
It’s not always about shareholder value when it comes to business. Sometimes it’s about something else. Now more than ever start-ups are looking for a meaningful story upon which to build their foundation; thus turning toward their calling for corporate responsibility.
For example, when my father decided to open his small handyman business he had no idea he would become the talk of the town. But it wasn’t because he delivered solid services (which he did), it was because, as part of his mission, he employed neighborhood young men, deemed at risk. He understood the significance of community building by employing the neighborhood youth. He understood that if he employed them, they would recirculate their dollars in the very neighborhoods they lived in. He also knows that he could emphasize that story with his customers to gain traction and loyalty.
Over the years, his business flourished and eventually, my brother took over. Even after my father’s passing the mission has not changed.
Now more than ever, small businesses are associating themselves with purpose. As a result, they are seeing rapid growth and loyal customers. Here are five both large and small businesses taking corporate responsibility to new levels.
1. Do Good Buy Us
The motto of the Do Good Buy Us e-commerce website means “goods that do good”. The company is dedicated to changing consumerism through the support of social causes. Do Good Buy Us only sells products made by organizations which support other social causes? How perfect is that?
Plus, fifty percent (50%) of the profits made by Do Good Buy Us go to charities dedicated to combating hunger, poverty, disease, and other such global issues. This little-known company is often praised in philanthropy and charity circles for the good work it’s doing.
2. Out of Africa
The cosmetics company Out of Africa does a lot more than simply commercializing premium quality skin care products containing Shea butter. They also do their best to improve the quality of life for as many West African women and children as they can.
A portion of company’s profits goes to organizations dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of West African residents. Contributions include providing medical care and education to children, while others regularly donate to a number of women’s cooperatives dedicated to creating jobs in the region.
3. Rainbow Light
Despite being in business more than three decades, Rainbow Light finds it’s self amongst our notable five. Founded in 1981, the company graduated from commercializing spirulina nutritional supplements to developing a wide range of natural supplements which are now being sold worldwide. But the mission of this organizations has always been improving the health of their customers and it hasn’t changed.
Circle of Care initiative, create a few years ago, was created to fight malnutrition all over the world. It accomplishes this by partnering with the nonprofit Vitamin Angels organization, which does deliver vitamins and supplements to at-risk children and mothers. They also use 100% recycled BPA-free packaging for their products.
4. Krochet Kids
Krochet Kids started when three high school friends, with too much time on their hands and a common love for snow sports, decided to learn how to crochet their own headgear. Initially, they sold their personal creations to their classmates but then decided to shake things up once they went off to college.
Realizing that they could do a lot of good by teaching their skills, they started teaching people in developing countries how to crochet. The idea was to begin to break the cycle of poverty within these developing countries. Now, Krochet Kids currently assists more than 150 Peruvians and Ugandans who now earn a living through the sale of their crocheted goods.
Starting off as a men’s clothing company, Twillory has come a long way since the business’ small and humble beginnings. Their mission continues to be simple. Help as many underprivileged people as possible. What better way to help the less fortunate than to help them help themselves?
For this, Twillory launched a program called RE:Purpose. Through this program, the business donates work attire to unemployed men in need. But they didn’t stop there. With the assistance of their partnership with Career Gear, the company now also offers mentorship, life skills, and clothing to anyone willing to take on the job market.
We have all heard the saying “too much is given much is required”. These breakout small businesses are heading that call. I challenge you to consider what you are doing to improve your corporate responsibility brand.
Because we love this topic so much, we are going to create a monthly post called the “Human-side” which will highlight the human side of your business. I would love for you to share with your corporate responsibility story. Send us an email expressing your interest at email@example.com and we will feature your story of giving on our blog.