Rise of The Socially Conscious Business

socially conscious businessEntrepreneurs build more socially conscious businesses these days.

For decades, non-profits and businesses have existed in separate realms. The non-profits focused on helping the poor and providing aid, while businesses focused on raising capital and building revenue.

It seemed that the two were destined to stay on their own paths, gawking at each other and failing to work toward a common goal.

However, we’ve recently seen the rise of socially conscious business entrepreneurs, people who are driving innovation and changing systems in order to solve social problems. They have business plans and ventures that are hell bent on changing economies for the better, while at the same time running a successful for-profit business.

They are proving to everyone that poverty can be alleviated and money can be made – all at the same time.

So how do they do it? What’s their secret?

Well, it’s:

  • Passion
  • Innovation
  • Basic business principles

These socially conscious business entrepreneurs dedicate their lives to solving social problems they are passionate about. They find a way to change things for the better, they get going and they never stop running.

One such example here in the U.S. was founded on the idea that you could turn trash into reusable compost. EcoScraps picks up old fruit and vegetables from stores and restaurants, composts it, then turns around and sells it as bags of organic potting soil. Their clients include Costco and Whole Foods among many others. They are creating a sustainable, profitable business while solving the problem of leftover and old produce.

Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka, has been identifying and supporting individual social entrepreneurs since 1980. He realizes the potential these individuals have and their ability to create impactful and sustainable businesses. By receiving investment early on, social entrepreneurs are able to scale and grow their businesses to have an even bigger impact.

Social conscious business entrepreneurs are proving that social problems can be solved with for-profit business models, and they won’t take “no” for an answer.

Frankly, I think they’re onto something.

Eco Photo via Shutterstock


Tessa Farnsworth Curry Tessa Farnsworth Curry is the managing editor and regular contributor of Damsels in Success, a website for and about women in business. Tessa specializes in content writing and strategy and writes regularly on business, innovation, entrepreneurship, and travel on her personal site Tessa Curry.

9 Reactions
  1. Great post, Tessa. It’s very important for SMB to be socially aware and up to date. It makes for a better operating team and marketing campaign. Thanks for sharing your insights with us.


    • Thanks Ti! It’s true, if SMB’s fail to be socially aware they are going to be affected down the road. By staying up to date and staying involved in their communities people will be more willing to invest and be a part of the business.

  2. I think this has a lot to do with the consumer of today. They are more willing to buy based on a company’s non-business elements. Another great example is Toms. By sending a pair of shoes to a poor country for every purchase they got a lot more business than they would have otherwise.

  3. Hi Guys, I am starting a popcorn business called Uncle Pops – and we are socially conscious. [Edited by Editor]

    Uncle Pops is Eco Friendly

    You may be asking yourself, what does eco-friendly mean? The choices we make everyday have an effect on our environment, our future, and our nations economy. Every time you buy something you are supporting a whole set of businesses and outcomes. If you buy McDonalds you are helping factory farming and if you use plastic it ends up in landfills. Uncle Pops is tying to help small farmers, by buying their non GMO corn instead of from the mega giant commercial farmer – Con Agra foods. We believe in supporting small business, which is the back bone of our economy. When you buy from Uncle Pops you support small business and help the economy grow!

    Rather than using plastic we use biodegradable cellophane which safely goes back into the earth. Every choice you make has an impact. Most popcorn retailers use metal tins. When these end up in the landfill they will be there for centuries. Uncle Pops does not use metal tins, We use FSC certified paper, which means the paper can be recycled. This also means the trees that made the paper are renewable. The tree supply won’t be depleted because it was accounted and a new tree is there to takes it’s place. If you buy popcorn from Uncle Pops this means you are contributing to certified tree usage and diverting trash from landfills.

    It’s a good idea to take an extra moment when you are out and ask yourself next time you buy something… “what am I supporting?” When you buy something from Uncle Pops you support sustaining the environment and you support small business.

  4. Very true, Tessa. It’s so important for businesses to be socially conscious these days, and it is totally possible to do while being profitable and sustainable at the same time.

  5. Nicole Santiago

    A new socially conscious business in the mobile service arena is GIV Mobile. GIV Mobile is the first no-contract wireless plan that gives back 8% of its monthly plans to a charity of their customer’s choice. These charities include Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, Scholarship America, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Doctors without Borders, Red Cross and many more. GIV Mobile utilizes the 4G network of T-Mobile USA, Inc., allowing customers to not only have dependable connections, but also to effortlessly give back just by using their cell phones.

  6. It is so great to see that businesses are making an effort to go green. My company, Shoplet.com specializes in office products, what we are starting to see is that more and more of our vendors are starting to develop environmentally friendly and recycled products. For example, we had a vendor come in and present a line of their new products in which one was a biodegradable binder. He explained that it only take 2-4 years for it to decompose as opposed to 400 years for a regular binder. It is encouraging to see that we are moving forward with have a more sustainable enviroment.

  7. #Passion
    #Basic business principles and the fourth i would love to add is #Patience

    Joe Romero

Win $100 for Vendor Selection Insights

Tell us!
No, Thank You