You’ve probably heard of Patagonia and Ben and Jerry’s. In addition to making much-loved, high-quality products, these big-name corporations are known for their dedication to doing good. But being socially responsible isn’t reserved for the big leagues alone. More and more, startups are realizing that by putting their energy into giving, they can reap benefits aplenty and increase more than just their bottom line. Giving back improves company morale, boosts branding and image and, most importantly, makes a difference in the world.
Take a look at these 10 brave startups who have followed suit. In addition to checking out their very cool products, you may be inspired to make doing good part and parcel of your own venture. Best of all, many of them even used the Wix website builder to create their online presence.
For kids and adults, formal or casual, bowties have made a comeback in a big way. Founded by Bronx native Robbie Williams, Bowtie Behavior sells bowties of every shape and color. But what’s really fashionable is their generous commitment to giving back. Williams donates a full 10% of every purchase to Alliance Girls’ High School, Kenya’s oldest school for girls.
Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ula offers dozens of services for veterans, elderly and retired people. From language courses and computer training to humanitarian assistance and legal aid, the organization has created a community and safety net for thousands in Russia. For many lower-income retirees, they also offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel with affordable tours to destinations both within Russia and around the world, made possible by financial support from the government and donors.
Melody Allred clearly loves children. In addition to having 8 kids of her own, she founded Orfana, an ecommerce store that provides quality products with a beautiful purpose. When it comes to doing good, they have upped the ante entirely. A full 100% of their corporate profits is sent to orphanages around the world.
This brand new startup created a whole new way to provide transitional housing to people newly confined to wheelchairs. Taking inspiration from the RV industry, they created a mobile apartment unit that is fully wheelchair accessible and can connect to virtually any home. The founder of Wheel Pad set up a “low-profit limited liability company” so that instead of focusing on maximizing their profits, the company is dedicated to making their product accessible and affordable to everyone who needs it.
Do you enjoy a good bottle of wine? What if you could choose a bottle that you knew was made responsibly, from sustainably-grown grapes and with Mother Earth in mind? What if you could be reassured that the winemaker was receiving a fair share of the profits? Enter Wine for the World. Founder Mika Bulmash has a background in international development and she created the company to marry her passions for the planet and wine. Now that’s something to toast to!
Founders J.D. Capuano and Samuel Abbay know that in the world of business, numbers matter. They use data analysis to help large companies make more environmentally sustainable choices and reduce their carbon footprint. With clients like Etsy and the Natural Resources Defense Council, our dear planet Earth is already thanking them.
From laundry detergent and trash bags to diapers and toilet paper, Seventh Generation boasts a diverse line of products that everybody needs. What sets them apart is their steadfast commitment to creating products that leave the world a better place. They create products that are safe and sustainable for consumers, producers and, of course, our one and only planet.
Brooklyn-based Llasmaste sells Yoga bags and yoga accessories. But rather than pocket every penny they earn, these yogis donate 10% of their proceeds to causes benefiting children. If you’re looking to buy some yoga supplies, be sure to check out their Wix website.
Israeli startup, Mobile ODT, has created technology that makes screening for cervical cancer accessible and affordable to women around the world. It’s already working in 14 countries around the globe, but the company has plans to expand to new markets. What’s more, enabling patients to screen themselves for cancer from their own cell phones has applications in countless other fields as well, and the company is already piloting other products.
Meditek has already been around for several decades, but since their startup days they have made giving back a cornerstone of their mission. As a business, they sell medical equipment to hospitals but they also donate used medical equipment from their trade-in program to international aid foundations in developing countries. Meditek has found that their social initiatives have helped them create brand loyalty. According to their marketing manager, Brad Samuels, being socially responsible has paid off in more ways than just karma. Samuels has said “Hospitals have more of a desire to work with us and trade in their older equipment, as they know it is going to good use.”
Ready to launch your own business and save the world at the same time? Start by building your very own website!
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