Five tips to make a difference and grow your business

Want to make a difference, but still grow your business? This post by Leigh Mitchell provides five ways to give back with some inspiration and tips from social entrepreneurs.

My favourite thing about being an entrepreneur is the amazing people I meet when speaking at events. This weekend I spoke at the Discover Your Personal Brand event. I had the pleasure of interviewing social entrepreneurs during our panel discussion and admired their willingness to open up and show vulnerability. I took notes and got inspired! And I hope you do, too.

“What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful” – Brene Brown

5 ways to make a difference

  1. Find your story
  2. State your mission
  3. Volunteer together
  4. Join a board
  5. Just give back
  1. Find your story

Jennifer Huggins started Fight to End Cancer to support a dear friend. Since 2011, this organization has raised over $700,000 to support research through its charity boxing gala events. Jennifer discovered that the key to legacy is to live with purpose, even when it’s painful.

Samra Zafar’s story is one of Brave Beginnings, the non-profit organization she founded to support abuse survivors in their journey to build a life of respect and freedom. Samra herself was a survivor of physical and emotional abuse as a teenage bride in a forced marriage.

“Be yourself, authentically and unapologetically. You deserve respect.” – Samra Zafar, International Speaker, Human Rights Activist, Scholar, Author & Social Entrepreneur

So, what’s your story? Can you distill your reason for being in just a sentence or two? Why should anyone care about what you do or want to do?

  1. State your mission

It starts by stating your mission, literally.

At Women in Biz Network, we help women feel happier, healthier and less isolated by increasing their success with mentorship, advocacy, and skill-building events and programs. We have positively changed the lives of over 35,000 women in our seven years!

Now, what does your business stand for? How do you create a positive impact for the communities your business serves? Dig deep. Try to express, share, and live up to your mission statement. It should provide at least as much motivation to your team as your bottom line.

  1. Volunteer together

In a survey by Net Impact, 53 percent of workers reported that “a job where I can make an impact” was important to their happiness. Per Forbes, most workers report that they would take a pay cut, for the right reasons; “All other things being equal, I would take a 15% pay cut…”

  • 35 percent … to work for a company committed to corporate social responsibility
  • 45 percent …for a job that makes a social or environmental impact
  • 58 percent …to work for an organization with values like my own

Given how much it means to employees, why not give back for a day with your team? You can do Habitat for Humanity or take a trip with Ugo Travel for Change, where you can volunteer and travel together.

  1. Join a board

Grow as a leader by joining an advisory board. I have been involved with several over the years and have found these opportunities very rewarding. Currently, I work with HerVolution, a not-for-profit organization encouraging girls & young women to pursue #STEM careers.

  1. Or just give back!

If these options all sound like they demand too much time and energy of you, keep in mind that you can always still make a difference, just by giving a donation on behalf of your business.

Get in touch with your purpose and find a charity you believe in. At Women in Biz Network, Abuse Hurts is our charity of choice. It gives me great pleasure to find ways to recognize and support their life-saving work. We also offer other charities and initiatives support at our conferences and events.

One last thought

Success isn’t just about fame and fortune. Define it by the mark you want to leave on the world. Making a difference goes a long way in happiness and work-life satisfaction. Also, research tells us that consumers prefer to buy from and work with socially-responsible businesses, too. I hope these tips will inspire your business to make a difference today!

What do you do to make a difference? Share your experience with us below.


Leigh Mitchell is a Toronto-based educator, marketer and content creation specialist who founded Women in Biz Network and publishes #ThriveinmyLife podcast and blog.

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  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your incredible insights Leigh. I love these simple, yet effective steps that you’ve composed. I truly believe that we must live with purpose, it’s the key to our individual success and ultimately happiness.

    Thank you for all you do! Keep up the awesome work!