In the month of June, Supercharge Lab will embark on a journey: creating a better world by diving into the realms of social justice, impact, and sustainability. We will investigate a broad subject that includes economic disparity, diversity and inclusion, climate change and creating parity for minority groups. Most importantly, we will explore why this is important – and how as startups we can and must contribute to change, change that can create a better world for future generations.
Startups are important in creating social change – in fact, they have a greater opportunity to lead the charge towards change that we can believe in. From building ethical technologies to ensuring conscious business models, we must realize that startups are in fact, tomorrow’s corporations and enterprises.
I’ve written in a previous article that if we want to create a non-dystopian future, startups must begin with a strong ethical compass, and continually audit its purpose of existence. Starting with a strong sense of why can get you much further than you think. It is equally important to continue asking “why” as you scale, pivot, and succeed.
Here are some ideas early startups can adopt to find their path to sustainability:
1. Make impact your competitive advantage.
The first order of business in starting a company is defining your value proposition – how you make a difference and generate value. Adopt a company mission that starts with “We make the world a better place by…” and create a competitive advantage around the impact that you drive. It may even be useful to adopt a cause and create a unique proposition through it.
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In an evolving consumer market, the current generation of consumers want to know that every dollar that goes into a purchase will matter in creating a better world. It is therefore imperative to do well by doing good at the same time.
2. Partner with investors who dare to make a difference.
There has been a subtle but insistent shift in the way startups choose their investors, with larger shifts toward investors who deploy capital to make the world a better place. It is pertinent to note that a growing number of investors now insist on a sustainability angle in creating their thesis and investment mandate.
3. Speak up.
In the wise words of Suzy Kassem, we must “all work in harmony with each other to stand up for what is right, to speak up for what is fair, and to always voice any corrections so that the ignorant become informed and justice is never ignored. Every time a person allows an act of ignorance to happen, they delay our progress for true change. Every person, molecule and thing matters. We become responsible for the actions of others the instant we become conscious of what they are doing wrong and fail to remind them of what is right.”
More than ever, it is imperative for us to speak up for what is right and against injustice.
As we progress through the month of June, let us all remember our place in this universe, and be empowered to create a force for good.