Publications & Thought Leadership
Social Purpose Business Definition
Posted in Leadership Strategies
Companies seeking to understand the Social Purpose Business Definition now have a resource they can turn to. The Social Purpose Business Definition I wrote for the Social Purpose Institute at United Way, is a distillation of advice from around the world on the definition of a social purpose business.
The Social Purpose Business Definition defines a social purpose business as a company whose enduring reason for being is to create a better world. It is an engine for good, creating social benefits by the very act of conducting business. Its growth is a positive force in society. The Social Purpose Business Definition summarizes three elements of a social purpose business: 1) the social purpose company has an enduring core reason for being; 2) it has a societal ambition, a desire to make the world better; and 3) it links its financial agenda with its societal agenda.
Social Purpose Business Case
The companion report to the Social Purpose Business Definition is the Social Purpose Business Case. Social purpose companies seeking to understand the rationale for a pivot to purpose can use the Social Purpose Business Case to learn about the evidence that having a social purpose can lead to financial outperformance. The Social Purpose Business Case shows that businesses that stand for solving societal challenges are performing well – in terms of market growth, competitive advantage, meeting changing customer needs and energizing their employees. The research on the social purpose business case I conducted for the Social Purpose Institute at United Way shows there are six main business benefits for pursuing a social purpose business model. The Social Purpose Business Case provides compelling statistics on the ROI potential of having a social purpose:
- Customer attraction and retention
- Employee attraction and retention
- Strengthen relationships and enable collaboration
- Attract capital and manage risk
- Increase innovation and enable transformation
- Enhance financial performance
The Social Purpose Business Case and the Social Purpose Business Definition are essential reading to begin your social purpose journey.