More than 3 billion people are living in poverty. That’s nearly 50% of the world’s population. Your business can help bring an end to poverty and it all it requires is a tweak in commercial strategy. Here’s how you can do it.
Your customers care that your business cares
The driving forces of business are forever changing. Previously customers didn’t have access to the web. This meant your sales team ruled the roost, as they had in-depth product knowledge. After your customers became clued up on your products, your marketing team took charge.
Now, customers have the power.
Why does this matter? Because your customers demand that your business is socially responsible: morality counts. 90% of your customers want you to focus on more than profits. Millennials are driving socially-aware businesses and they judge your business on whether it meets these criteria:
- How much it helps society
- The impact it has on the world
- Honesty and transparency
- If you give customers the chance to give back too.
Ending poverty isn’t only a moral obligation for your company, it’s a business necessity, as social enterprises are on the… up. Social enterprises are organizations that subvert the traditional business model to aid social development. These businesses value people more than profits, and their customers rate them higher. Your customers care that your business cares.
Establish your focus area for ending poverty
There are many causes of poverty. Concern Worldwide US pinpoint 9 causes of global poverty. They are:
- Poor access to proper food and water
- Lack of jobs
- Insufficient access to education
- Effects of climate change
- Poor or nonexistent infrastructure
- Corrupt or inadequate government
- Shortfall in natural reserves
Tackling all of these causes at once is ideal, but also a tad idealistic. For your business to make a real difference, your strategy should be to focus on one area at a time. By doing this, you can use your resources in a way that’s targeted, giving you a better chance of affecting change.
Youth is the future
Without youth, the world is on a slow march to extinction. We need fresh ideas, energy, and leadership in order to tackle poverty and inequality.
In order for these things to happen, the children of today need to be given the power to rule tomorrow. Your business can help make this a reality by making it part of your strategy.
There are many great ways you can do this:
- Offering internships: Gen Z and Gen Alpha need a chance. Giving them valuable experience in your business is the perfect way to give back and help young people better their lives.
- Visiting schools: Taking your experience into the classroom is a great way to tackle poverty. Showing children how business can make the world a better place can entrench good habits.
Giving people the tools to empower themselves is a long-term strategy for tackling poverty. Make your business a flag-bearer for the future by helping the youth of today.
Business strategies to help end poverty
Some easy ways to donate and contribute to poverty eradication as part of your business:
Start a foundation
UK brand innocent donates 10% of its profits to charity. This money is sent to the innocent foundation, a registered charity which supports projects across the globe. Replicating this business/foundation model with your profits is one way your business can end poverty. For advice on how to set up a foundation, check out the video below:
Commit a percentage of every sale
Glassybaby is a company that takes innocent’s donation tactic a step further. It commit 10% of its revenue to help causes. This meant the company didn’t make a profit in 2016. Doing like Glassybaby and sharing a portion of your revenue with charities will help make a real difference. You could have special charity tees or seasonal product bundles that are all about giving to charities. Service-based businesses can also donate revenue and hours — this is not just an ecommerce-specific tactic.
One for one
TOMS is a model of how a for-profit business can help end poverty. The company began with a simple message: for each pair of shoes sold, they would give a pair to an impoverished child. If your business sells goods or products, you can adopt the same like-for-like approach to ending poverty. Watch the video below to see TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie, talk about the one for one principle:
Business today is about more than profits and shareholders. Your customers demand you give something back to the world. Start by deciding where to focus your energies, and then pick the best strategy for your business.