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P is for PURPOSE [Z-A for Start-ups]

Z-A for Start-upsDream & DoComment

P is for PURPOSE

Profit for purpose is the future in the new age of entrepreneurialism.

The movement toward profit for purpose in Australian business is gaining momentum, there’s no denying it.

Starting with Oxfam opening their first store in 1948, we’ve now got recognisable brands like Thank You water, OzHarvest and Who Gives a Crap? toilet paper riding the entrepreneurial wave and garnering support from hipsters and millennials worldwide. Charity is cool.

The shift in thinking is two-fold. Traditionally for-profit companies are recognising that political, environmental and social interests can serve their brand’s message, so they’re turning to more charitable avenues. And charities and not-for-profit organisations are taking an entrepreneurial approach to social enterprise, to grow their message and brand. The model of Profit for Purpose is kind of a blended approach – walking the line between business and charity. It’s about the message and the story that a company’s trying to tell and sell, and the language we use.

CEO of Pencils for Promise, Adam Braun, says “the word nonprofit had this ability to strip our work of its value and true meaning. It’s incredible how powerful language can affect a company’s culture. We believe in maximizing the return on investment from every dollar we receive, and measure our impact rigorously. Most importantly, we have created a network of supporters that embrace the scale of our ambitions and value our commitment to total transparency with their philanthropic dollar.”

In this day and age, it’s simply not enough to start yet another fast-fashion label without a greater purpose. People don’t buy what you sell; they buy why you’re selling it.

Joe Lazauskas, regular writer for Contently, recently called for brands to stand for real, human causes: “Increasingly, consumers want brands—and the people who work for them—to fight for something more than profit. According to a recent Nielsen survey, more than half of people across the globe are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. In the U.S., 91 percent of consumers are likely to switch to a brand associated with a good cause.”

It all comes down to finding your WHY. What makes you, as the founder, tick? What are you most passionate about? And how can you serve your greater purpose and change the world, no matter how small the steps are, while still making a living for you and your team, without relying on handouts? It sounds like a complicated strategy, but it doesn’t have to be.

Like we wrote about in Y for WHY, we can harness the power of creative content to tell a story, communicate our values or sell a product.

Our client, Sally from Freedom Hub, is in the midst of opening a café in Waterloo, from which all profits will go to supporting victims of human trafficking in Australia. One Wave Is All It Takes grew a social media following by doing ‘Fluoro Fridays’ surfing and free yoga at Bondi Beach to raise awareness of mental health, and now they’ve launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to run free learn to surf programs for people with mental health issues. Frank Body has recently started donating $1 to international enterprise Charity:Water for every selfie you take covered in coffee scrub. Social media? Tick. Fun? Tick. Purpose? Tick.

In February this year, Cereal Entrepreneurs is hosting a special edition, with the theme ‘For Purpose’ at New Beginning Fair. Guest speakers include Joel Pilgrim from One Wave Is All It Takes and Krystal from cervical cancer awareness charity Pink Hope. Get your tickets for $35 HERE. First 50 people to arrive receive free breakfast and goody bag!

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