Increasingly businesses want to make a difference in the world as well as make a profit. They do this by bringing the idea of social impact into their business model.
Considering social impact is also increasingly important for consumers and many are taking their buying decisions after looking at a company’s track record in this area.
Here are some examples of UK businesses with business models based around social impact. They are all selling very different product but are all making a difference in a number of countries across the continent of Africa.
Keeping up with family traditions, this sibling trio noticed that despite producing as much as 20% of the world’s global supply of cocoa, Ghana does not have a single chocolate brand that is internationally recognised. With profits from their sales they are aiming to build a sustainable chocolate factory in rural Ghana. This will help add value to Ghana’s cocoa economy, create new jobs, opportunities, and better wages for local cocoa farming communities.
Although born in Paris, Tabara N’Diaye has been living in London for 10 years. She created La basketry with her sister Mamy in 2017, a homeware brand offering handmade baskets by female artisans from Senegal in West Africa.
This business was founded to share their traditional craft in Senegal with the world and generate regular employment for their weavers. The aim is to support their employed artisans so they can provide their families with food, shelter, education and healthcare – leading to a better life.
La basketry wants to grow the network of artisans and provide more job opportunities for women in rural areas of Senegal.
Established in 2016 and endorsed by Richard Branson, Vitae is Latin for life and they’re the watch brand changing lives. With every watch Vitae London donates a solar lamp to a child in Sub-Saharan Africa meaning they don’t have to travel for hours or burn harmful fuels to study in the evening. Vitae has recently launched its new Elmington Range on Kickstarter so you can help an African child and own a beautiful watch ahead of everyone else and with over 50% off.
The jewellery brand with philanthropy at its heart. Their unique pieces are hand-made by Kenyan artisans determined to turn their lives around. From young mothers, to reformed criminals and street boys, Kaleidoscope gives them the right tools, training and an opportunity for a career, and a sustainable source of income.
Having recently landed a contract with Selfridges, this start-up creates plantain-based hand-cooked snacks that are absolutely delicious, 100% natural, and suitable for all; whether you’re vegan, living gluten free, or just ravenous. Every pack of Sunmo you buy provides a meal for an orphaned child in Nigeria – the country that inspired their plantain obsession.
This brand makes reusable water bottles – with a difference. Every bottle sold provides clean drinking water, for five years, to someone living in Africa. For every bottle sold, they donate directly to their NGO partners in Africa to install pumps in rural communities.
When you make a purchase from companies such as these you are doing more than supporting UK business and social entrepreneurs. You will be making a genuine, tangible difference to people in many countries in Africa. That is a very positive contribution.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Will Adoasi is a social entrepreneur and founder of Vitae London, an ethical watch brand that offers fashionable, quality watches at affordable prices. Within the company’s DNA is the desire to advance social justice.
Vitae London works within several Sub-Saharan African provinces to help give children access to education. For example, with every watch sold from the new Elmington collection a child is gifted a Solar Lamp from local charity Pen to Paper Ghana. This means the children don’t have to travel for hours or burn harmful fuels in order to study in the evenings.
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