Today, it is not enough to have a successful business and make a profit.  The business must hold itself to a higher standard of social responsibility by giving something back to the community or communities in which it does business, and through them, to society as a whole. Social responsibility is “operating a business in a manner that meets or exceeds the ethical, legal, commercial and public expectation that society has of the business.” This means obeying the law, respecting the environment`, and being mindful of the impact the business has on its stakeholders, the industry, and the community in general.


Socially responsible entrepreneurs, then, are distinct from other entrepreneurs in a number of ways.  First and foremost, they start their business with a social mission, and they are faced with different challenges as they seek the resources to fund and sustain the business. Their rewards derive not so much from profits as from the social value they create by being change agents for the betterment of society. 

Entrepreneurs should be warned of the importance of choosing a mission that is achievable. To be able to give back strategically to society, two rules must be followed:

  1. Don’t wait until later in life to begin giving back. Start when you and the business are young.
  2. Don’t go for something huge. Start at the grassroots level, where help is needed the most.

The benefits to businesses that seek to become socially responsible are many.  They include improved financial performance, reduced operating costs by cutting wastes and inefficiencies, enhanced brand image and reputation, increased sales and customer loyalty, increased productivity and quality, increased ability to attract and retain employees, and reduced regulatory oversight.


A company does not have to be a large multimillion-dollar firm to begin to give something back to society. Even a very small company can have an impact on its community if it does a few things by way of preparation. First, the company needs to set goals. What does it want to achieve with its social responsibility efforts? The company should also pick a single cause to focus on, rather than trying to support many different causes. It should also consider partnering with a nonprofit organization. The nonprofit contributes its expertise in the social issue; the entrepreneurial company contributes its expertise and the time of its employees to the nonprofit. 


Next, it is vital that everyone in the organization get involved. There really is strength in numbers. In addition to getting employees involved, the entrepreneurial company should also get its customers involved.  With goals in place and a cause that fits the company’s core values, the new venture can do a number of things to establish positive relationships in the community.

  1. Donate Products or Services

One of the least expensive ways to do well is to donate the products or services the company produces.

  1. Get other companies involved

In the spirit of networking, consider putting together a group of small businesses whose combined effort will produce results with more impact.

  1. Offer the company’s expertise free of charge
  2. Contribute to the community

Many entrepreneurs have found cost-effective ways to give back to their communities without breaking the bank. In fact, they have made social responsibility a regular part of their business.  An entrepreneur can share the benefits of success with his community by providing for underprivileged children, food drives for the hungry, highway cleanups, among many other things. There are numerous ways to demonstrate social responsibility through a business.  It doesn’t have to cost much time or money to make a significant difference as long as efforts are focused where they will count the most. 


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