Even David needed the help of a tool to slay Goliath.
Since we’re developing an impact-reporting platform designed specifically to help small businesses, we thought we’d share a few our favorite companies that share a similar bent — providing tools with a primary focus on helping socially minded small businesses. While so many ESG (environmental, social, governance) software solutions and other products are created for large enterprises because “that’s where the big money is,” like David, we understand how important it is for small businesses to have a slingshot at their side.
Giving Back in a Creative Way
“Small Businesses Can Change the World in a Big Way,” reads the bold type on the B1G1 site. For many small businesses, charitable giving historically has been the strongest pillar for social impact. While impact had broadened in the past decade beyond giving, it remains fundamental to small businesses. B1G1, a giving platform for small and mid-sized businesses around the world, provides an engaging way to approach this. On its platform, a business ties its giving to everyday actions — acquiring a new customer, celebrating an employee anniversary — you get the idea. And every time these actions are achieved, your business makes a small donation called “giving impacts” to a cause: A female entrepreneur in Pakistan in need of a bicycle or providing seeds to a farmer in Vietnam, for instance.) All in all, a fun and powerful way to engage your employees, your customers, and your community in your giving.
Mainstreaming the Greening of Main Street
Members of the Green Business Bureau community get access to valuable content, eco-plans, and simple-to-use online tools to prioritize, implement, track and self-certify their green initiatives. Its members have shown that green business practices improve operational efficiency, reduce operational costs, enhance their brand, retain employees, attract customers, and drive sales. Plus, hey — you get to rub shoulders with a community of like-minded business owners who might be able to provide a piece of business advice or two, never a bad thing. While the Green Business Bureau has offerings for larger companies, the bulk of its membership is small businesses who use this program to certify and improve their environmental performance.
A Standard for Public Benefit
Is your small biz one of more than 10,000+ public benefit corporations in this country? If you are, then you need a third-party standard measure and assess the benefit you are creating. Benefit Corporations for Good provides a standard designed especially for benefit corporations to fulfill their legal responsibilities to stakeholders. Its certification is a 60-question online questionnaire that covers your company’s practices for social and environmental impact. While it started in the state of Oregon, Benefit Corps for Good has been expanding with small businesses across the country. (Learn more about this growing legal structure, now available in 40 states.)
Is your team looking to develop a social purpose for your fledging small business — or wanting to create a new purpose for an existing company now that you are thinking more socially minded? If so, then this purpose-driven guide from Roundpeg might be just for you. It includes everything your tight-knit team will need to define a kick-ass purpose, develop a strategy around that purpose, and build a platform to activate that purpose so that you are able to benefit people, the planet, and of course, your business. (Full disclosure: Roundpeg is a partner in Unit Co.)
A Climate Tool for Small Business
The world of carbon credits to offset your carbon emissions is cluttered and can be unnecessarily confusing. What distinguishes Aclymate (briefly in our February Impact Trends blog) is its focus on making the process simple and easy for small businesses. They have a handy tool to help you calculate your carbon emissions and real-live humans available to assist if you need it. Once you’ve calculated your carbon emissions, you can choose from a roster of certified carbon credit projects to offset your carbon footprint. The range of options is enlightening in itself — from the manufacture of wood building products that “lock-up carbon” in Norway to a solar farm in Paint Rock, Texas.
And speaking of tools for socially minded small businesses, we’re getting closer to launch day for our impact measurement and reporting platform: One handy place to centralize your impact data and turn it into a marketing machine. It should be late summer or early fall. If you by chance aren’t on our email list receive first notice, just sign up on the brief form at the bottom of this page.
Let Us Know
Do you have a tool or product — or know one — that’s designed especially for socially minded small businesses? Let us know — we’d love to share them with our broader network.