Why CSR matters for Small Businesses


CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a wide-ranging concept entailing that environmental, social and economic questions should stay at the top of every project, every concept and every business plan. If we break it down, every juncture we meet has to keep a check on people, planet and profit. It’s important that companies of ALL sizes take it seriously,

Better actions, better profits

Doing the right thing matters to the customers. Increasingly customers are looking to make a difference through the money they spend on purchases or services. If you stand out from the crowd as a company who is known to always do the right thing, treat the environment and the people you are impacting in the right way, customers will respect that and not only choose you but also be loyal in the long term.

Boosts employee morale

Employee turnover at startups has a notorious reputation; it’s difficult to retain an employee long term. We all want to contribute to something good in our lives & what better way to help your employees achieve this personal goal within the greater ideals of the organization?

If a startup seeks to prioritize CSR activities, it will help create a stronger culture within the workplace where employees will be more productive and inspired if they have a higher feeling of contributing towards a greater goal.

For example, look at TOMS- a social enterprise that operates on a ‘buy one give one’ model. For every TOMS pair of shoes you buy, they donate another pair to the needy. 

They keep their employees constantly engaged by allowing them to submit ideas for charitable projects that inspire them. Every month, the company votes on one idea to win and puts $10,000 towards making it happen. These initiatives help create a sense of purpose among employees, building a workplace culture whilst simultaneously inspiring them to achieve the company’s goals.  

Greater access to funding

Let’s be real- one of the biggest challenges smaller startups face is attracting the right investors. Being socially responsible helps you with a unique selling point to your customers, but can also be a great place to shine for your potential investors. Some bigger organizations & governments even have specific grants catered to socially responsible startups. 

Venture Capitalist and Limited Partners (LP) are increasingly accounting for their assets to ensure responsibility. This is a recent trend over the past decade where investors have started to pull out of ‘sin stock’ and looking for alternatives. This therefore makes it more pertinent than ever that fresh startups grow to fill this gap and attract investors to further help your startup thrive.

Peace of Mind as an Entrepreneur

Finally, ethics! As a business, small or big you play a role in which direction we move into the future. As a developing business particularly, you are able to weave the principles of sustainability into your core values and business processes. If you aren’t able to account for your social responsibility, you are only procrastinating the inevitable. Startups are all about accomplishing the impossible, and CSR can give your company the drive to keep going and to continue giving back to your community- so let’s get started!

Being a part of a coworking space is also a way to be sustainable socially and environmentally. Working in a shared space where you can meet like minded innovative individuals from diverse backgrounds and sharing resources such as power, phone, Wifi and even rent costs is a more efficient manner than working in separate offices (or even at home). It’s definitely a win-win!

At Colombo Cooperative we have done a sustainability study to understand what we are doing well and what we need to improve on, have you taken a moment to think about your impact to the space and people around you?

Let us know your thoughts ! Love, Colombo Coop Crew!