SocialPreneurs: Businesses Good at Doing Good

Lake Effects Blog

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The social entrepreneurial movement centers on being a societally, environmentally and morally conscious professional.   It recognizes the need to conduct business in a manner that is reciprocal; both taking and giving from material, cultural or human resources.  What makes them unique? Their ability to make a difference and make a profit at the same time.

Regardless of the niche or industry, business is a complex ecosystem and more trending for-profit entities and business leaders are slowing down to take a closer more critical look at the impact of their business processes.  Whether that means evaluating off shore manufacturing and work conditions in third-world countries, improving methods to reduce negative consequences on the natural environment or cultivating ecologically sustainable practices, more businesses are adopting socialpreneurial policies.

Advantages of the SocialPreneurial Trend

From a fiscal perspective, there are many advantages for SME’s and corporations to explore more environmentally friendly options.   The Small Business Administration offers a number of tax incentives to encourage energy conservation, and offers tax credits for energy efficiency.

Naturally, corporations who develop a trust or foundation to organize and fund charitable programs for religious, educational, scientific, literary education or for the protection and service to children, war veterans or for animal welfare and advocacy qualify for charitable tax credits.   The provision makes it not only morally rewarding to contribute to or spearhead worthwhile programs, but financially advantageous as well.

From a public relations perspective, socialpreneurial businesses enjoy a favorable boost in terms of public perception by demonstrating a commitment to immediate community needs.  By exhibiting an interest in macro level global economic and environmental concern, businesses can position themselves as thought leaders for qualitative and socially responsible production and distribution practices.

Corporations Doing Good Locally

Walgreens developed an innovative “Life Is Local” program that assigned community leaders in major cities across the United States.  The purpose of the designated ‘Community Leaders’ is to identify key opportunities for Walgreens Corporate to participate in local charitable events that create an impact in their own immediate community.  The criteria for funding in this program supports Walgreens commitment to access, outreach and education in health and wellness.

Allstate Insurance created the Allstate Foundation that funds (among other community grants offered) a Teen Safe Driving program and a partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).  Both programs support the organizational core value to protect the safety of their local community.

Are you inspired by the socialpreneurial efforts made by your organization? Leave a comment and share with us.


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