Doing well by doing good is a term used to describe the activity of a business in society. Even though it is regarded as a modern initiative, the history of business shows us that it started more than one hundred years ago, as you’re about to see. We’ve also prepared some examples on how you can implement it in your own company, so keep on reading.
Doing Well by Doing Good
Nancy Koehn is a professor and historian at the Harvard Business School. She has pointed out in a talk that doing well by doing good is by no means an invention of the modern age. She turns our attention toward the China Company. It belonged to Josiah Wedgewood, back in the 18th century. He provided adequate food supplies, housing, and training. Therefore, he literally built one of the first towns around a business in the industrial era.
The same goes for the now larger than life Henry Heinz. He did the same thing for his workers and the community of Pittsburg in the late 19th century. Another example that Nancy Kohen points to as far as companies with both social and commercial aspirations go is the makeup mogul Estee Lauder.
Ethics and social responsibility being put at the core of the business strategy have begun way back in the 18th century. It’s time for you as a young entrepreneur to benefit from CSR actions as well. But how?
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Examples of Doing Well by Doing Good
- Start a company that makes people’s lives better. This means thinking past the point of simply making a profit. In this way, you can try to find the cure for a disease. You can invent a replacement for a plastic product. It can reduce the world’s plastic use. Or you can create an object that makes life easier for people, and so on.
Meet Ooho, the water bottle you can eat. It comes in the shape of a bubble filled with water, made of plants and seaweed. It wants to replace the ever-present plastic water bottle.
- Put aside some of your company’s equity for charity. If you are a young entrepreneur with a small startup, it might be difficult to donate money. That’s true. However, you can choose to donate once you sell your profitable business. In this way, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
- Hire people who may not get that many job offers. Consider giving chances to people who need them the most. This means also hiring people who may not have the most stellar educational background. Or the ones who have odds working against them. You can collaborate with your local shelter to find trustworthy persons and help give them a chance to a better life.
- Do pro-bono work. Look at all the things you and your team may offer to your local community or charity in general. When you do that, try to see the big picture and not think inside the box. For example, if your company is in the IT business, that doesn’t mean you have to do pro-bono work for people or companies in need of IT services. Maybe this is not required of you. However, it might be that there’s a local school in need of supplementary or better-trained teachers to show children their way around computers.
No matter what form it takes or how long it has been around, doing well by doing good is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever live. Giving someone a chance to a better life or helping your community is a sense of achievement comparable to that of succeeding in business.