What Does a Purpose-Driven Company Look Like?
Traditionally, businesses are seen as entities that exist to provide a product or service. A growing number of consumers and entrepreneurs are embracing the idea that companies can be a lot more. Purpose-driven companies go beyond their role of offering a product or service and develop programs that have a social or environmental impact. Social entrepreneurship is bringing more meaning to what businesses do, and it’s an exciting trend to explore if one wants to make a difference in their career.
What sets purpose-driven companies apart?
Modern consumers know that the choices they make have an impact on their environment and community. For 20% of them, how a company treats the environment is a top issue when choosing a brand, and 19% look at what a brand does to support the community.
Businesses are adapting to these new expectations by embracing social entrepreneurship. A purpose-driven model allows businesses to go beyond selling products and make a difference through their decisions and strategies, or through their support of social and environmental programs.
What are the advantages of adopting a purpose-driven model?
The reason businesses need a purpose is multi-fold. It benefits not only the business itself, but also the customers and employees:
• For 79% of business leaders, purpose is central to success. It’s a key element for differentiation, and it ultimately allows the company to have a transformative effect instead of only achieving linear growth.
• Customers see that their purchase makes a difference. They get more satisfaction from choosing a brand with meaning.
• Believing and belonging are important for employee satisfaction. Thus, purpose-driven companies are good at creating a sense of community and attracting top talent.
How purpose-driven businesses drive impact and make a difference
Purpose-driven businesses often approach hiring differently. Besides looking for those who possess the skills and expertise required to perform their job, they look for people who are passionate about making a difference. They foster the talents of impact experts, and the overall culture is shaped by social entrepreneurs helping each other grow.
Putting together a team of passionate individuals is only the beginning. Indeed, there are other strategies purpose-driven businesses use to have an environmental or social impact, including:
• Using strong core values to inform business decisions.
• Donating products or services to those in need.
• Donating money to nonprofit partners.
• Leveraging talents and resources to support community projects.
• Transforming an industry’s best practices.
• Funding R&D projects to find solutions for social and environmental issues.
• Supporting employees so they can volunteer for a few hours every week.
Top trends of purpose-driven companies
The following trends are shaping how companies make a difference and are creating exciting opportunities for employees and customers alike.
Finding strength in numbers
More purpose-driven businesses are opting for partnerships that have a bigger impact. Some support existing movements like Black Lives Matter, while others partner with charities and nonprofits on social projects.
During COVID-19, many businesses redirected profits to support their employees or community. This trend could continue in the future as businesses create special funds to make a difference during emergencies or natural disasters.
Purpose is more than just a word. There is a growing trend to take more concrete initiatives, measure the impact of different programs and release these numbers to the public for transparency.
Addressing new issues
Environmental and social issues remain the two key categories businesses focus on. In 2021 and beyond, organizations are looking to address issues like waste disposal, water quality, access to healthcare and even police violence.
Becoming triple bottom line companies
Profit is often seen as the ultimate goal of a company. Triple bottom line companies are rethinking this approach and combining profit, people, and the planet when assessing their impact or setting goals.
A career in social entrepreneurship can help you use your skills and passion to make a real difference. Net Impact is here to help hone these skills and guide your career in the right direction. Learn more about social entrepreneurship at Net Impact.