Here at BuildUp, we are passionate about all kinds of business start ups, but especially about those which aim to have a positive impact on the world as a whole.
One of the biggest business trends today is establishing companies which not only benefit the individual but also have a positive effect on society too. From start ups which support their local communities by providing a valuable service to those which have a more global impact, finding ways to benefit the rest of the world is an attractive prospect for investors, lenders and sponsors and can add to increased profits for your business as well as a greater sense of satisfaction at doing the right thing.
Eco-Friendliness A Key Area Of Business
Now that we all have a better understanding of our carbon footprints and the things that we can do to limit our negative impact on the environment, it comes as no surprise that more companies are now working to an eco-friendly criteria. The demand for green services and products is on the rise, and start ups which are harnessing this potential are thriving in today’s marketplace.
Investors, sponsors and lenders are keen to support businesses which purport to help the environment while making a profit and there are countless examples in the business world today which have proven to be extremely successful in their own spheres.
Here are some examples of successful start ups which not only profit themselves but also society as a whole.
Joyable is an online service which is aimed at people who suffer from social anxiety disorders. Offering affordable CBT psychotherapy for those who are unable to obtain or afford mental health support within their local communities, Joyable fills a niche for those who are struggling to cope with their mental health problems.
Based in San Francisco, this start up offers 12 week courses pairing clients with their own personal coach. During the course, clients follow a program of cognitive exercises and learn how to apply them effectively to real life situations. With courses costing just a tenth of standard psychotherapy treatments, it’s no wonder that it has proven to be such a success both for its founders and the online community it serves.
Oncora Medical was launched by a doctor called David Lindsay who realised that there was a need for reliable breast cancer resources when his own mother was diagnosed with the condition. His company analyses data received from global cancer treatment centres in order to predict which treatment would be most effective in each specific case of cancer.
Focusing on the untapped oncology data-driven solutions, Oncora Medical has made it their mission to let radiation oncologists access worldwide derived data to develop a more customised treatment plan for every cancer-sufferer.
Although in the west we take feminine hygiene products for granted, in developing countries menstruation care is often sadly lacking. Ruby Cup is a social enterprise based in Nairobi and Berlin which aims to tackle the problems that girls and women face in the developing world when menstruating.
In Kenya, many poor girls have to trade sexual favours for sanitary products, while others are obliged to use rags, bark or leaves instead of cloth or disposable pads and this can result in infections and diseases.
Ruby Cup is an online store which sells reusable medical-grade silicone menstrual cups. These innovative products offer around 12 hours of sanitary protection and are also eco-friendly when compared to disposable products. Although there are numerous menstrual cup companies, Ruby Cup gives a menstrual cup at a nominal price to a girl living in Kenya for every product purchased.
Unlike many other buy-one-give-one business schemes, Ruby Cup isn’t competing with any industries in Kenya since there aren’t any other menstrual cup manufacturers or retailers in the country. The result is that Ruby Cup fills the void, making a valuable social impact.
Another start up which aims to solve a global crisis is ShareThe Meal. Based in Berlin and founded by Sebastian Stricker, this website aims to help hungry children around the world.
A one-time consultant working with the UN on nutrition and food security, Stricker discovered that over 700 million people worldwide suffer from severe malnourishment. Although the numbers were reducing year on year, the rate of change was extremely slow at just 1 – 2% each year.
Stricker recognised that hunger was a problem which could be solved, but at the existing rate it would take decades. He therefore co-founded the mobile app ShareTheMeal which enables users to pay for someone in the developing world to have a meal. For just 44 US cents or 40 cents in Euros, users can give back to the global community. Now, someone shares a meal every minute and over 110 million people have downloaded the app. ShareTheMeal is a classic example of how a start-up can benefit the world as a whole and not only its founder.
Helping In Communities
Have you been inspired by the possibility of making a positive community impact through your start up? If you’re excited about the potential of helping others while also making a profit for yourself, it’s time to think about ideas either within your own local area or within the global sphere.
While these start up ideas are examples of companies which are helping on a global scale, you can make a big difference closer to home too. There are many examples out there of small businesses which have made it part of their business plan to support local communities, perhaps by offering jobs to local people from disadvantaged communities, by sourcing locally produced organic products or by making a contribution to a local charity through every product sold. There are many different ideas that you can put into practice which will not only profit those in need or the environment but which will also raise your company profile and strengthen your brand, improving its reputation as an organisation which truly cares about others and the world around us.