According to a study done by Nielson, 55% of online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. And with the younger generations being more and more socially conscious, it’s no surprise that they are looking to put their money where their mouth is, creating an opportunity entrepreneurs and businesses.
Richa Gupta, Founder of Good Food for Good, and Tumeric Teas, is an entrepreneur that has wanted to incorporate giving back in her business model of both her business ventures since day one. Both her businesses, Good Food for Good and Tumeric Teas were created to make a positive difference in two of the world’s biggest food related issues: abundance of bad food and scarcity of food for almost one sixth of the world’s population. With her line of cooking sauces and ketchups at Good Food for Good, and healthy teas at Tumeric Teas, she has partnered with a variety of organizations that help make a difference in the fight against world hunger.
“I always believed businesses can be a force for greater good,” Gupta explained. “People have different things that motivate them, for me it’s making a difference, it’s doing something that is beyond just taking care of myself.”
As an inspiration for aspiring and current business owners that are looking to do more and give back through their business, Richa shared five tips on how entrepreneurs can incorporate social entrepreneurship into their business model.
Paying a living wage
“This is a great way to give back and raise the living standard of the people that are closest to your business. Your employees are not just your employees; they are customers and brand evangelists too. Besides, it builds trust and loyalty and gives people a reason to feel motivated”
Minimum wage isn’t usually enough for someone to live off of, so acknowledging that and paying employees a living wage can be a great way to give back within your own circle. You can always find someone that can do it for less, but that doesn’t always mean you should.
Team building through volunteering
We often want to build stronger team relationships, so why not do it in a way where you give back while doing so? Organizations like food banks and Habitat for Humanity offer programs where you can volunteer with your team, all while helping give back in the community.
Make giving part of the product offering
Brands like TOMS have a model of buy one give one or brands like Good Food for Good have a model to buy one feed one. This can be a valuable way for not only your brand to give back, but also give your customers a way to give back too. However, Richa emphasized that it is important to make sure a model like this makes financial sense for your business and yourself. If it doesn’t, another alternative is to donate a portion of your sales or profits towards a specific organization you support, or that is inline with your brand.
If you can’t commit to a long-term give like altering your product offerings, charities are always looking to find sponsors for their fundraising events or initiatives. “You could sponsor the whole event, or sponsor a portion of it with your products,” Richa shared. Sponsoring events can be great for brand publicity, and also a great way to show your involvement towards causes and organizations that you and your business stand behind.
Ethical and sustainable business practices
Switch up how you do business, by incorporating more ethical and sustainable solutions throughout. By incorporating ethical sourcing and environmentally responsible business practices, you indirectly make a difference in your society. “Choosing to pay a fair price, organic ingredients and/or environmentally friendly appliances, you make a clear impact in the community by voting with your wallet for ethical and sustainable initiatives,” Richa explained.
For businesses like Good Food for Good and Tumeric Teas, social responsibility was a key component to developing all aspects of the brands. But if you are interested in incorporating giving back, understand why you want to do it, and figure out where it fits best into your business model. Remember, even the smallest thing to you can make a difference much bigger than yourself.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.