What is a social impact business?

 A social impact business pursues a greater purpose in addition to profit. It provides impact that can be measured. By connecting purpose to the bottom line they make significant social, environmental or humanitarian impact in their communities.  

What makes a social impact business different?

A social impact business has a clear and defined social purpose.

The social impact is clear to employees, customers, stakeholders and the community. They know it, see it and feel it.

It’s more than a statement on the website or writing a cheque to charity. It’s a clear and demonstrated commitment to make the community a better place. 

The social impact is integrated into every aspect of the business operations. It’s baked-in, not added-on. 

Measure social impact

The impact can be measured, both in terms of the impact on the business and the impact to the community.

Measure social impact

They attract great employees and provide meaning beyond the pay cheque, providing expanded growth and innovation opportunities.

Let’s answer some of your most vexing questions about social impact. 

What is a social impact business?

A social impact business is a business that pursues a greater purpose in addition to profit and provides impact that can be measured. By connecting purpose to their bottom line, they make significant social, environmental or humanitarian impact in their communities.

Why choose to be a social impact business?

Decades of statistics show consumers and employees are demanding more socially conscious companies and brands.

When companies articulate their vision, values and purpose for existing, and the impact they want to make, consumers listen. Consumers open their wallets to companies that align with their own values, and what they care about is changing. Consumers want to do business with, and employees want to work for, companies and brands that operate with Social Good.

When you complete B4SG’s Social Good Academy, you will be recognized as a B4SG Certified Business. Learn more about our training program at: https://business4socialgood.ca/work-with-us/social-good-academy/

How are social impact businesses changing the business landscape?

According to Forbes (January 2019), companies will be forced to embrace social impact or fall behind and social pressure will encourage companies to speak up about social issues.

Numerous recent studies show consumers are likely to support purpose-driven companies in a variety of ways. During the past several years 85 percent of purpose-led companies showed positive growth, while 42 percent of non-purpose-led companies showed a drop in revenue (Conscious Company Media, 2018). (BBB4Good, Vancouver Island).

Why is it important for businesses to help solve social issues?

Profitable businesses are in a unique position to help solve community issues through regular embedded giving integrated into their business. Through their profits, and the aligned giving, they can strengthen communities and address critical issues. Government and philanthropy cannot solve issues alone; we believe business has a responsibility to step up.

What is a social good futurist?

A forward thinker who sees the value of social good, the positive possibilities it can create, and the willingness to do good.

What is the difference between corporate social responsibility (csr) and a social impact business?

A CSR business does not have a defined social purpose driving internal and external activities. They donate to a charity and garner the publicity, but giving is not integrated into the purpose of the business.

A social impact business embeds social good principles right into its business model and the business culture. Everyone knows it, sees it, feels it – from employees, to customers, suppliers, stakeholders and the community. Every employee understands their role in making a difference.

How is a social enterprise different from an ethical business?

A social enterprise is based on a social mission and uses commerce to maximize sustainability and impact. An ethical business is based on creating profit for its shareholders but takes an ethics-based approach to societal or environmental issues.

What does ‘triple bottom line’ mean?

Triple bottom line encompasses the three P’s: profit, people, and planet. Rather than solely focusing on generating profit (the standard “bottom line”), a ‘triple bottom line’ business measures their social and environmental impact in addition to financial performance.

What is a benefit company in British Columbia?

New in 2020, the BC government created a Benefit Company. They describe the Benefit Company as ‘a for-profit company that commits to conducting its business in a responsible and sustainable way and it must also promote one or more public benefits.’

Why do we choose to model the UN Sustainable Development Goals? 

A blueprint for people and planet was created in 2015 when world leaders adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership.

At Business 4 Social Good we are motivated to use the SDG’s as our guide. They provide a credible reference point for tackling Canada’s most pressing issues. We start with the 30,000 ft view for world issues and then narrow the focus for Canada. Almost every SDG is represented right here in Canada.

View details about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 

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