Local leaders find their social purpose

Ask any local business owner or entrepreneur and they’ll agree: if you want to succeed and grow your business, offering the best product just isn’t good enough.

Your business itself has to be good, too; good for your customers, for your employees, and for your community at large.

In short, you need a Social Purpose.

Social Purpose is an accelerating business trend in which companies help solve complex societal issues, as a core component of their business model. A social purpose company is one that takes real action to create a better world. It’s an engine for good, creating social benefits alongside greater profits, loyalty and sustainability. It’s a business that shows a little local love.

It’s a trend United Way has led and now advanced even further with the launch of its first Social Purpose Business Innovators’ Lab.

Lab co-leader Coro Strandberg shows the fun of finding your purpose

The Business Innovators’ Lab is a place for local companies interested in adopting a social purpose business model. The first Lab kicked off February 28, 2018 with 17 business leaders from 8 progressive organizations, across diverse industries.

Participating organizations include Hemlock Printers, Hollyburn Properties, International Web Express, Lafarge Canada, LGM Financial Services, Mills Office Supplies, Novex Delivery Solutions, and Westcoast Sightseeing.

Over the next year these local leaders will explore the best-fit social purpose for their company and learn how to manifest it in their business models, using tools and resources designed and facilitated by United Way.

Participants will also receive support becoming a social purpose business and building their brand as a social innovator, while learning from other companies in a unique peer-based model.

The Lab will be led by Coro Strandberg and Mary Ellen Schaafsma, Director of Social Innovation & Research at United Way of the Lower Mainland.

2018 cohort united way business innovators lab

Participants in United Way’s Business Innovators’ Lab
have launched their Social Purpose journeys

“We are excited to be a part of this initial cohort of the Social Purpose Business Innovators’ Lab,” said Drew Collier, President, Corporate Services, LGM Financial Services. “We’ll be able to collaborate with other like-minded organizations to explore other ways to “give back” and help raise the bar at LGM and more broadly, across Canada.”

Lab leaders Strandberg and Schaafsma look forward to offering the Lab to more business leaders and organizations in the future, helping as many local businesses as possible find their social purpose, and positive legacy for their community.

“Social Purpose gives your business more than a competitive edge – it’s a way to be at the forefront of your sector, on the leading edge business and social change,” says Schaafsma.

For more information on United Way’s Social Purpose initiatives, visit uwlm.ca/socialpurpose or contact: socialpurpose@uwlm.ca