How to Prioritize Social Responsibility as a Startup

Startups face a myriad of challenges: getting off the ground, financial management, creating a scalable business model, etc.. You name it, it’s likely on the list, which is why carving out the resources to implement socially responsible initiatives can seem like a daunting prospect or even a luxury reserved for larger corporations.

But social responsibility doesn’t need to cost startups an arm and a leg — or even anything at all. In fact, there are many ways that startups can adopt social responsibility, they just need to get a little creative. In other words, you can make a big impact by simply using the operational skills, communication, and organizational savvy that are already at your fingertips as a business.

However, before you start brainstorming ways to adopt socially responsible initiatives, you need to learn how to prioritize them. As they say, there’s a time and a place for everything. When you’re starting out, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions.

  1. In what ways does your business impact — both positively and negatively — its employees, the environment, the local community, society, customers, and suppliers?
  2. What are your business’ core strengths?
  3. What are the pressing needs in the major communities where your business operates? And how do they intersect with your business strengths?
  4. Are competitors practicing responsible business? If so, how can you differentiate yourself?
  5. What resources are available to execute socially responsible strategies, from manpower to product to funding?

Not only do these questions help you figure out if you have the resources to allocate towards startup CSR, but they can also give you a sense of the social issues/causes that you want to invest in.

Only after you’ve done that can you start brainstorming ways to give back as a business. To help you learn how to give back when your a startup on a budget, Embroker put together this comprehensive guide that outlines all things social responsibility for startups. They look at everything from creating an ethical framework to examples of companies that have done it best — not to mention, what to avoid when creating a socially responsible business model.

Take a deeper dive into their startup social responsibility guide here.


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The full Infographic from Embroker is A Startup’s Guide to Business Ethics and Social Responsibility  A special thanks for Embroker, for their infographics.

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