The Social Purpose Business

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The Emerging Trend

Social Purpose Business is an emerging business development and an advanced level of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Social purpose businesses embed social good into the very core of their business operations. It becomes part of their brand and an authentic way to survive and thrive in a changing society. This next iteration of CSR opens up the opportunity to lead with social purpose and work together to advance to the next level of business and societal impact.

Many orgainzations know that investing in their community to help solve social issues is good for business. Thriving, healthy people and communities are inextricably linked with a business’ financial health. When businesses lead with Social Purpose – engaging with employees, clients, customers, peers, suppliers, non-profits, social services, government policymakers, and more – in pursuing real, positive social change, we all benefit.


United Way’s Role

UWLM is embarking on a new way of engaging with the business community to bring about greater social change. Our corporate partners have been requesting involvement in, and a deeper understanding of, our work and the social issues faced in the Lower Mainland and want to become more engaged in the solutions. UWLM, known for its local community development and broad, cross-sectoral networks, is poised to serve as the source for community intelligence, training and involvement in embedding social purpose within businesses.

When social purpose becomes a core part of a business and its brand, it has the potential to bring more than just philanthropic dollars to bear on social issues; instead, all the business does fosters social change. Social change is the mission of United Way. We want to foster and grow leadership in social purpose because together we can make amazing things happen.

How we can help:

  • Understand the social issues that affect your community and your business, to discover and be a part of new solutions.
  • Identify the best match between your company’s brand, assets and resources and a social purpose that would resonate best for you in a competitive landscape.
  • Connect what your company has to offer with issues and agencies in the community (e.g. donate much needed services to a community agency).

For more information, email:


Social Purpose Resources:

Here are some interesting articles about social purpose and social leadership.

Corporate Social Responsibility Reimagined (BC Business Magazine)

The Ecosystem of Shared Value (Harvard Business Review)

The Virtuous Circle Business Model: Social Purpose at the Core of Business Success:

Purpose or profit: which would give you more job satisfaction?: