By Will Adoasi, Vitae London.
As an entrepreneur with a startup you have a unique opportunity: to choose the business model you will adopt and the company culture you want to go with it. A business model that is increasingly being adopted by entrepreneurs incorporates social impact at the heart of the business.
Let’s look at five entrepreneurial UK businesses and the impact that they are having in a number of African countries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As your startup grows you have the opportunity to make an increasing social impact. Think about what inspires you. You can combine your passion for your business with making a difference in the world. In addition, your customers will be delighted that by buying your products or using your services they can make a genuine, useful contribution.
I hope the examples here will give you food for through as you decide on your business model and how your business can be used to positively impact the lives of others.
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.