Ask successful entrepreneurs what made them decide to start a new business and you’ll hear everything from “I saw an opportunity in the marketplace” to “I was tired of making money for someone else.” Ask an entrepreneur whose business has a socially conscious mission, and you’ll get a different type of answer.
Entrepreneurs starting businesses for the greater good want to feel good about what they’re doing—and consumers want to buy from them. In fact, 55 percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact, according to a study by Nielsen.
Starting a nonprofit is, in many ways, harder than launching a for-profit business because of the legal requirements and accountability issues. If you’re thinking about starting a nonprofit, here are few steps you should take, according to the Council of Nonprofits:
- Check to make sure a similar nonprofit doesn't already exist.
- Know what your state requirements are for nonprofits (paperwork, fees, deadlines, etc.).
- Make sure you know the rules about forming a governing board.
- Find out how to file for a tax exemption.
- Consider taking a workshop or hiring a consultant to guide you through startup.
Of course, you don’t have to launch a nonprofit to realize your dream of making a difference. Many for-profit businesses put social responsibility and giving back at their core. Here, meet three smart hustlers who took different paths to create companies that matter.