Business for good

We believe business can be a force for good. And although it is still a mainstream belief that profit generation is the sole purpose of a business and “doing good” is still about one-way giving or corporate volunteering, things are starting to change. Technological advancements, more pressure from consumers, and an increasingly crowded marketplace, mean that businesses are under growing pressure to reinvent themselves and identify new engines of growth. The rise of B-corps and new policies, like ESG requirements mean that businesses, big and small, are beginning to co-create value with their employees, customers, suppliers or other key stakeholders based on shared interests and values.

Key Questions

  • How to make “doing good” a core part of a sustainable business strategy, instead of an additional agenda?
  • How can we support companies to better understand and address the S of ESG, rather than only focussing on sustainability and governance issues? How can business see itself as part of society?
  • What motivates companies to embrace Business for Good – internal or external factors?
  • What more can philanthropy do to influence companies to change? Where (if anywhere) has philanthropy been gaining good traction in the business for good space? Where is there collaboration around this topic (if at all)?

Our contribution

We have been working on this topic since 2014, when we hosted a global discussion via TelePresence on the topic of Corporate Social Innovation. Whilst the terminology has shifted from CSR, to CSI, to Purposeful Business or Business for Good, and now ESG, our motivation has always been the same – how can we support  corporations to innovate for social good and put social purpose alongside profit.


As an organisation that straddles and connects sectors, SIX is in a unique position to facilitate this work. We’ve hosted several cross sector, global dialogues on the topic, we’ve brought philanthropy and the private sector together as part of our funders node programme, and we’ve worked closely with one of the biggest conglomerates in Turkey over several years. Through these activities, and our partnerships with B4G communities in Europe, Canada, and East Asia, we’ve tracked the changing trends over the last decade. 


More recently, our work in this space has focussed in East Asia, working with a large funder to help them understand where philanthropy can influence the Business for Good movement and with a consulting team in Hong Kong, bringing best practice global examples to inspire HK companies to embrace this topic.  

Featured work

Report: Motivations for Business to Create Shared Value in Hong Kong

The coronavirus outbreak has triggered the biggest global economic, health care and social crisis in centuries. This is a time for all sectors to reflect on their approaches and develop new ways of doing things. And it includes the private sector. In the post-pandemic world, the new business landscape is complex and uncertain. Amongst technological ... Report: Motivations for Business to Create Shared Value in Hong Kong

Breaking Through – How Corporate Social Innovation Creates Business Opportunity

Corporate social innovation is an approach where corporate strategies and operating practices enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously promoting economic and social well-being in the communities in which it operates. Simply put, it is about fuelling breakthrough changes in how businesses operate so that they can achieve social and environmental value creation alongside ... Breaking Through – How Corporate Social Innovation Creates Business Opportunity

From our friends and partners

From social innovation to business for good – a global dialogue

We are living in turbulent times. Poverty, inequality, youth unemployment and climate change are among the challenges we are facing. Business for good is becoming the new norm in this new era.  Over 2019/2020, a global consulting team came together to produce a new piece of research: Business for Good: Understanding the Motivations for Business to ... From social innovation to business for good – a global dialogue

Provocations: Living in turbulent times and re–centring the conversation

As COVID-19 started to take hold of countries and regions around the world, we began a comprehensive global scan exploring the most innovative ways in which philanthropic organisations around the world have been pivoting in order to support grantees and communities now and in the future. These provocations are rooted in the insights and perspectives of over ... Provocations: Living in turbulent times and re–centring the conversation

What is corporate social innovation?

Corporate social innovation (CSI) describes corporations who integrate social innovation into their corporate activities. Although a relatively new term, shared value companies are not new, although the recent influx in CSI is a sign of the growing strength of this field. Corporations play a significant opportunity in 2018 and the next decade to be part ... What is corporate social innovation?

25 companies carrying out corporate social innovation

Between the 2017 Paradise Papers scandal, the globally contested multi-billion merger between a large pharmaceutical and an agrochemical company, incidents of day-to-day disrespect of employees, protests over excessive pay and a leading car company’s fraudulent emission scandal, the air surrounding global corporations feels somewhat heavy. For the 17th consecutive year, the Edelman Trust Barometer recently surveyed tens ... 25 companies carrying out corporate social innovation

A global discussion on Corporate Social Innovation

On March 11, 2014 , SIX hosted the Global Dialogue on “Corporate Social Innovation and the Future of Capitalism“. The discussion was convened by SIX, SiG and Cisco, and chaired by Geoff Mulgan (CEO of Nesta) and it brought together people from London, Bogota, Toronto and Vancouver. The last four decades have seen important evolution in thinking about the role of ... A global discussion on Corporate Social Innovation

Five keys to corporate social innovation

Via the Guardian Written by Marc Pfitzer and Valerie Bockstette The term “innovation” appears at least daily in Guardian Sustainable Business. That’s because innovation is the key to addressing the social and environmental challenges we face today. We need innovation to create more affordable health care services. We need innovation to bring nutritious food to every corner ... Five keys to corporate social innovation

Good Business

In the latest issue of The Business Incubator, Allyson Hewitt introduces us to the concept of corporate social innovation. The article is a welcome demonstration that social innovation thinking is emerging into the mainstream. A young animator had figured out a new way to streamline the animation process. He approached the Information technology, Communications and ... Good Business