Business can be very rewarding and is usually setup to create a profit and return for its shareholders, however something magical happens when business is setup to do good and make the world a better place.

This might sound cliche, but it’s true and it’s what the world needs today more than ever. People want to connect with a business and brand, and by having a giving mentality, businesses are actually rewarded in the long-term with more in return.

Richard Branson is a serial entrepreneur who is a big believer of setting up business around this core principle.

In an blog article on Virgin.com, Branson said, “From the day I took my first steps as an entrepreneur, I’ve felt that the only mission worth pursuing in business is to make people’s lives better. That’s why I started Student Magazine at the height of the Vietnam War, and it’s also why we launched Mates Condoms in the UK. It’s how we’ve been disrupting the airline business for over 30 years now, and it’s how we continue to bring change to many other industries, from mobile communications to hotels and, soon, space travel.”

Businesses when they align to delivering good to the world, with no ulterior motive are equipped to not only help society but also get the peoples backing, in turn giving them a competitive advantage.

As business owners, leaders and founders, it’s our job to ask ourselves the question, “How can I give back and make people’s lives better through business?”

Here’s a business that started from and is constantly asking itself this exact question through it’s model, industry or social impact:

Thankyou Water

For founder and managing director of Australian social enterprise Thankyou, Daniel Flynn, his journey (like many) started out with a naive idea: to eradicate global poverty, one water bottle purchase at a time.

Starting out with just $1000, without a strong purpose Daniel and his team would have given up in the face of many challenges they’ve had along the way – such as pitching their product to two supermarkets who shortly after launched their own water brands!

Eight years later, Flynn has battled all odds to form a business, alongside wife Justine and best mate Jarryd Burns, that does just that. Operating under a shareholder-free model, ‘Thankyou’ has now delivered approximately $5.2 million to social enterprise projects in 16 countries including here in New Zealand.

If we all support each other by asking the question, “How can my business be setup so I can make peoples lives better through business?”, we can hold our head up high and make a true difference in the world.


Anthony Baxter is founder and CEO at Firefly Digital. Get their free digital strategy play book here.

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