All businesses have a purpose. Under company law, the default purpose of a limited company is to benefit its shareholders, while having regard to wider stakeholder considerations. Increasingly, however, many companies feel that this description focuses too much on profit and fails to fully capture their true purpose.
The benefits of being a purposeful business are now common knowledge and range from dramatically increased profits, to huge improvements in staff wellbeing and customer loyalty. Just look at purpose advocates such as Unilever or Ben & Jerry’s.
'Purpose is crucial in business because it enables entrepreneurs to build companies that truly reflect their vision, values and ethics', comments Mark Norbury, CEO at UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs. 'For some entrepreneurs, this means putting a social or environmental purpose as the core driver of their business. For others, it means delivering social impact alongside commercial goals.'
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