I recently hosted an event with the Vancouver Board of Trade Small Business Council on creating social impact as part of your business practices.There were many great panelists including:
Honorable Michelle Stilwell, Minister for Social Development and Social Innovation, who shared their insights into how companies can create impact as part of their business strategy:
- Janet Austin, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Metro Vancouver
- David LePage, Principal, Accelerating Social Impact CCC
- Meriko Kubota, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Community Investment, TELUS
It was an interesting mix of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations sharing their insights on how to best integrate social and community impact into business practices.
For those running for-profit ventures, the key is to create something that has CSR (corporate social responsibility) on the inside and is part of your core values, not just lip service. This can be achieved internally, or through partnerships that align with your core business (like Telus).
On the not-for-profit side, it was interesting to hear that many organizations that were guided by a mission found success by improving their business foundation and updating their business model to generate more revenue, while simultaneously creating greater impact on the community.
The panel agreed that whether you are a for profit trying to increase community impact, or a not-for-profit trying improve your business model to be more sustainable; creating a strategic framework to work from is paramount in-order to align values and culture, and to achieving your organizational goals.
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