At our MeetUp supported by our friends at Virgin Money, hundreds of founders and future founders got together online to hear how to build more purposeful businesses. Here’s what we learnt from Holly Branson, Chris Turner, Victoria Stoyanova and Dama Sathianathan.
The future is now
“It’s becoming more non-negotiable to be making actual impact and to have purpose.” - Victoria Stoyanova
If you ever ask yourself “how long do I want my business to succeed for?”, then putting purpose at its heart is vital.
The time for debating whether businesses should be part of the solution to climate change and inequality is over. It is happening - right now - and for founders building new startups today, they are the future. It’s down to them to create more environmentally and socially conscious ventures, which fuse profit alongside purpose.
Consumer, investor and founder attitudes are changing at a rapid pace, and the drive toward a new type of doing business is matched only by the need for it.
As the world is moving towards more sustainable models, it’s no longer a unique selling point anymore. It’s essential for businesses to follow suit to survive and deliver on the expectations of being more sustainable and making a positive impact.
The pandemic affected how people view business. People had the chance to put a magnifying glass on companies of all size, and really find out if they are part of the problem, or the solution.
"It's heightened and deepened the need for businesses to be very credible and authentic in committing to a wider set of stakeholders" - Chris Turner
ANY business can be a force for good
It’s not just big business with big budgets which can be a force for good. Even if you’re a sole trader, a freelancer or a small startup, you can create impact. As Simon Sinek said at our MeetUp last year,
“Business is an act of service. Your ambition should be to profoundly and positively change the lives of the people who need what you have.”
Chris Turner is Campaign Director at the Better Business Act, which is calling for a change in UK law to ensure companies are measured on their environmental and social impact, not just profit. He joined the panel to share what the Act means for startups, and how new founders can get involved in the movement.
"Any business can be a force for good. A business which is rooted in place and community which is providing great meaningful work which is fulfilling and providing needed services or products is absolutely a force for good."
If you’re in the UK, sign up to the Better Business Act to get every business on the purpose journey”.
Put communities and people first
Good businesses are ones which solve problems worth solving. To create real and lasting impact, the panel discussed how finding and joining the communities you want to serve is where all businesses should begin.
"Get involved as much as possible, being out there makes it easier to have these initial conversations and seeing where the gaps are."
For purpose-driven founders, working together can reap rewards, as Chris reminded us, "There are ups and downs, but the main thing is that we are in this together”.
As Virgin’s Chief Purpose Office, Holly Branson, said at the start of the event, “At Virgin, our mission is to change business for good and my main goal as Chief Purpose and Vision Officer is to just make sure each and every one of our companies are putting people and purpose at the heart of everything that we do.”
At Virgin StartUp, we’re committed to supporting impact-dirven founders to create thriving businesses, and are with you each step of the way.
Thanks to Virgin Money, our MeetUp events are free to attend, providing thousands of early-stage founders with the support they need to start and scale businesses in the UK.
Virgin Money are here to disrupt the status quo. They want everyone to have a much happier relationship with money. They provide a full range of banking products, services and digital solutions to help founders at every stage of their business journey. Find out more by visiting their website.
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