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Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship — How to Build a Business that Makes a Positive Impact Here are seven strategies for building a purpose-driven business that makes a positive impact.

By Chris Kille Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As a purpose-driven entrepreneur, your primary goal is to build a successful business and make a positive difference in the world. In today's world, consumers are becoming more mindful of their impact on the environment and society, leading to the increased demand for purpose-driven businesses.

In this article, we'll guide you on how to build a business that makes a positive impact.

Related: 3 Ways to Become a Purpose-Driven Company

1. Defining your purpose

Your business's purpose is the driving force behind your company's success. It is why you established your business and the driving force behind your brand. Every decision you make as a purpose-driven entrepreneur must align with your business's purpose.

To determine your purpose, consider the difference you want to make in the world, addressing the societal and environmental issues you care about. Once you've established your purpose, integrate it into every aspect of your business, including your mission statement, branding and product or service offerings.

2. Creating a sustainable business model

A sustainable business model is essential in purpose-driven entrepreneurship, driven toward achieving long-term financial, societal and environmental sustainability. This allows for a balance between economic growth and social concerns while considering environmental impacts and ensuring that the business delivers value to its shareholders.

Within this model, use renewable resources to reduce waste and carbon footprints. Opt for eco-friendly transportation options, such as electric cars or bicycles. Instead of conventional energy sources, be open to using green energy and energy-efficient systems. Be sure to use packaging materials that are recyclable or biodegradable.

At the same time, focus on providing fair wages and benefits to your employees and creating a positive working environment. This will encourage team productivity, cost-efficiency and better customer service, all of which contribute to the long-term success of your business.

3. Building a community

Building a community is fundamental in purpose-driven entrepreneurship as it enables the business to create a positive impact and a thriving brand. A community can consist of stakeholders, comprising customers, employees, suppliers and peers who share your values and beliefs.

Creating a community allows for a sense of belonging and shared purpose where your customers can share their experiences with your brand, and you can reward them for their loyalty. You can create a platform for collaborative problem-solving where customers share insights on feedback regarding your product or services.

Through this engagement with your community, you can more effectively understand their needs, making developments that align with your purpose and creating a greater impact in the world.

Related: 3 Steps to Forge Your Company's Purpose-Driven Path

4. Measuring your impact

Measuring your impact is fundamental in building a purpose-driven business. Track your progress, identify areas that need improvement, and justify your impact to stakeholders. Establish clear sets of key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your mission statement.

Social or environmental audits can help identify areas for improvement, track progress over time and guide better corporate social responsibility policies. You can also use assessment tools, such as the B Impact Assessment, the B Corp certification or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to assess your company's impact on sustainability and set targets for improvement.

Another way to measure your impact is by engaging with your community of stakeholders, including customers, employees and suppliers. Ask for feedback on your impact, and consider their suggestions for improvement or corrective action. You can also participate in industry forums and collaborate with other purpose-driven businesses to share insights and best practices.

5. Telling your story

Telling an authentic and meaningful story is vital in building a purpose-driven business. Storytelling enables you to connect with customers on an emotional and personal level, creating meaningful bonds that lead to brand loyalty.

Your story should reflect your purpose and authenticity while being compelling. Utilize storytelling techniques like videos or images that appeal to human emotions. Share success stories, testimonials and the feedback you've received from customers or employees.

Leverage social media, blogs or other platforms to reach out to your customers and stay engaged with your community. Share what happens behind the scenes, and highlight efforts that contribute to making the world a better place.

6. Collaborate with other purpose-driven businesses

Collaboration is an essential aspect of purpose-driven entrepreneurship, allowing you to connect with other like-minded businesses to create a more significant impact. Use collaboration to seek new ideas, share key learnings and leverage best practices to achieve your business objectives.

Collaborating is an excellent way of creating awareness of your brand while bringing diverse perspectives and skill sets to the table. Seek out like-minded organizations that share your purpose, and engage them in collaborations such as joint marketing campaigns, networking events and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Not only will it strengthen your brand's mission and purpose, but it will also create a lasting impact on society.

Related: 3 Steps for Making a Positive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Impact

7. Stay agile and innovative

Purpose-driven entrepreneurship requires a mindset of agility and innovation. Entrepreneurs must be adaptable to the ever-changing business landscape, identifying new opportunities to innovate and trend with the latest developments. With that in mind, continuously review your business model and strategies while keeping abreast of the latest emerging trends and technologies.

Stay curious and, where possible, experiment with innovative solutions or new technologies that better assist your business goals. Ask your employees and stakeholders to offer suggestions, and always be ready to pivot when necessary to deliver the best results for your business, customers and the wider society.

Purpose-driven entrepreneurship presents a powerful way of building a successful and sustainable business while positively impacting society. By defining a clear purpose, creating an environmentally and financially sustainable business model, building a community, measuring your impact and telling your story, you can effectively differentiate your brand while creating a lasting legacy for future generations.

Chris Kille

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder at EO Staff

Chris Kille in Boston, MA, innovates in business efficiency, focusing on Virtual Assistant services and Payment Processing tech. He identifies growth opportunities and streamlines operations to enhance profitability. Chris values networking for success and fosters partnerships for speedy growth.

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