Over the past decade, the buzzwords “social impact” have permeated the vernacular in business development worldwide. No longer reserved for a handful of product giants like TOMS and The Body Shop, the notion of dedicating resources to social causes has become a focus of large corporations, startups and individual entrepreneurs. Why the distinct sea change? Consumers and employees demand it.
Benefiting the community, or even the earth itself, has become a priority to consumers. Social impact is not only a key issue for purpose driven companies, it is now a key to success for companies operating in every sector from breweries, to clothing companies and to service based businesses. Statistics show socially responsible companies have more satisfied consumers.
The buck doesn’t stop with consumers. Employees are an integral part of the health of a company and employees are more devoted and productive when working for socially active employers.
It’s no wonder companies across the board are learning to marry purpose with profit in order to succeed. Metro Atlanta companies, large and small, are leading the way. The Service Fort, a company providing environmentally friendly janitorial and maintenance services, partners with nonprofit First Step Staffing to hire homeless, transitioning veterans and individuals with a troubled past. The Service Fort has made the list of INC 5000’s fastest growing companies four years in a row. They were also named Cobb Chamber’s 2018 Small Business of the Year.
Service Fort founder Jeremy Fort says he always had a passion for helping others. His decision to help the homeless as part of his business models stems from a project he did his senior year in high school where he found, in most cases, “people just needed to be given the right opportunity.”
“When I had the opportunity to work with First Step Staffing to help with what I knew was going to be a challenging labor project at the new SunTrust Park, it all came full circle for me. I was able to approach Greg Block with First Step after meeting him years earlier and learning the great work they were doing in the community,” said Fort.
“It’s been an invaluable partnership and I’m thankful everyday for the people that come to work and have a brighter future in store,” Fort added.
While, entrepreneurs and multinational corporations are looking for creative and substantive ways to impact social change and derive financial gain, investors are playing an integral role. According to the Global Impact Investment Network 2018 Annual Impact Investor Survey, the worldwide Social Innovation and Impact Investment markets are growing robustly with the majority of investments made in the United States and Canada. According to some estimates, the impact investment market is valued at $9 trillion in the U.S. alone.
IgniteHQ’s newly launched Social Innovation Lab aims to bring together investors along with all the key players in the field to fuel successful socially responsible ventures.
“The Social Innovation Lab will vertically consolidate resources for startups, investors, professionals, students, coders, researchers, product and tech development shops and corporations coming together to collaborate in the realm of social responsibility using IgniteHQ as the platform for engagement,” explained Mark Hubbard, IgniteHQ’s President and CEO.
To learn more about IgniteHQ’s Social Innovation Lab visit: https://www.curatefor.us/social