In today’s business world, an increasing number of entrepreneurs and companies are opting for an approach where profit isn’t the sole focus; instead, they also emphasize social and environmental impacts. Impact entrepreneurship is emerging as a response to the pressing needs of our time. If you’re considering starting a business with an emphasis on impact, or you wish to transform your existing business into an impact-driven one, here are the three key steps to begin with:
- Define Your Vision
Before doing anything else, you must clearly ask yourself: What impact do I want to have? This isn’t just a question of profit. It’s about how your business will impact the environment, community, and employees.
Tip: Set clear, measurable goals. Instead of saying “I want to help the environment,” try to be more specific: “I aim to reduce my company’s carbon footprint by 50% in the next five years.”
- Engage Stakeholders
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, it’s crucial to engage with all stakeholders. This includes employees, customers, investors, and the community.
Tip: Organize workshops or meetings with stakeholders to understand their needs and expectations. Active engagement will help you craft an approach that’s more holistic and effective.
- Measure and Improve
Having good intentions isn’t enough for impact entrepreneurship. It’s essential to regularly measure and monitor your impact. Identify the tools and metrics most relevant to your industry and commit to continuous improvement.
Tip: You can also use the self-assessment tool developed as part of the ActImpAct project, which is available here.
Impact entrepreneurship is more than just a trend; it reflects the need for more responsible and sustainable business practices. Starting is always the hardest part, but with a clear vision, stakeholder engagement, and a commitment to measuring and improving, your business can achieve genuine and lasting impact.