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Small Business, Big Change: A Microentrepreneur’s Guide to Social Responsibility

Author: Susan Chambers
Published Date: 18 June 2013

By Susan Chambers

The following is an excerpt from the book.

As a socially responsible business, you’ll want to ensure that your business adds to, rather than detracts from, the economic and social well-being of your community. Whether you’re a storefront operation such as a retail business or local café, a service-based business operating from commercial property, or a solopreneur with a home-based enterprise, your company, for better or worse, will have a social and economic impact on those around you. Even if you conduct 99% of your business online from your home office, your company is still a part of the wider community and your choices as to where you buy your supplies or go for coffee may have a bigger impact than you might expect.

Your Money as a Vehicle for Change: Financial Ways to Support Your Community We’re often told that one of the most powerful ways to bring about economic and social change is to vote with our wallets. There are a number of ways you can put your money to good use as a vehicle for social change, both locally and globally. One way of sending a clear message to the finance and investment sectors, for example, is to support and patronize ethical investment funds, sustainable banks, and local organizations.

Admittedly, it’s often easier just to keep going along with what works. For example, you may feel wary about devoting some portion of your retirement account to socially responsible funds that only have a few years of performance data, or you may like using your commercial bank for the interest rates they give you. But in the long run, if you’ve worked hard to build a socially responsible business, it would make more sense to keep that money circulating in a business network that shares your values.

To read the full excerpt, please follow the link to SSIR, where this item was originally published.