One of my favourite parts about being a entrepreneur is I get to decide where my money goes. I get to decide how much of the profits I take for myself, how much I invest back in my business for new equipment or opportunities, how much I put towards education and networking events, and how much I give back to communities and organizations around the world that make a real difference in the lives of those who need it. Turn on the news any day of the week, and it’s pretty obvious there are people in the world who have bigger problems than I do yet have access to fewer resources.
As a self-employed woman in charge of my own funds, I decided to use my business as a tool to help others reach goals and solve problems much greater than my own. I know this is a desire of a lot of entrepreneurs doing business today. I’ve seen it discussed among small business owners, both online and in-person, we’re all looking for ways we can help make a difference and give to a cause that’s bigger than ourselves or our business.
Giving back with money and product – Giving back with monetary or product donations is the most common way I see a lot of businesses making a difference in their communities. You could approach this a few different ways, so decide what works best for your business and your finances.
-Donating a portion of your total profits.
-Donating all profits or a larger portion of profits from one specific product, product line, or service.
1-for-1 method – Donating one of the same product (or similar) you’re selling to someone in need.
Giving back with materials and labour – Another way to give back is in the way that you create and sell your products. You could source your materials from recyclables or in other sustainable ways. You could also hire labour and support fair wage among a less fortunate people group or region of the world in a way that encourages empowerment and employment.
Giving back with knowledge and time – Sharing your knowledge, your expertise, and your time could look like a lot of different things…you could host a free workshop teaching your craft to a women’s shelter; you could giveaway free product or services to a group in your community that really needs it; you could volunteer your time to teach a class on how to run a business for an after-school program. This could even look like sharing your trade secrets and best practices in the form of a free blog or community. Teaching someone a skill can be just as effective…sometimes more so, than giving them something physical like money.
There are tons of different ways you can use your business to give back, even if you feel like you don’t have monetary funds to spare. If giving back with your business is something that has been on your mind lately, don’t wait any longer. You’ve probably overthinking it. Pick a cause that you feel strongly about, and decide on an action you can take to help support that cause. Whether it’s donations, labour, materials, money or time, find creative ways to use your business and your influences for good.