“Never before has there been a greater opportunity and need for leadership from the world of business. Never before has there been a greater need for an inclusive economy that works for everyone, respects everyone, and creates opportunities with dignity for everyone.”
These words were sent out to the B Corp community by B Lab, the nonprofit behind the B Corp designation, the day after Election Day. During the election, some of the darkest, most perverse aspects of our capitalist system were on display—tax incentives favoring the wealthiest among us, eager use of bankruptcy to redistribute losses from failed ventures, and disrespect for the environment in favor of short term economic benefits.
At High Impact, we believe in the capitalist system because of our unwavering trust in the goodness of people to mobilize to bend capitalism toward the good of all. Capitalism runs on incentives—the incentive to work hard to improve your lot, the incentive to find innovative ways to disrupt markets, and yes, the incentive to avoid taxes and build wealth. We stand behind B Corps and the broader social enterprise movement as the best vehicle to bring another incentive to bear on the capitalist system—the incentive to have a conscience, act responsibly, and even go out of your way to do good in order to attract and retain customers.
Most people want to do good in the world, and this positive capitalism movement offers us the chance to do good in the most mundane ways, by buying laundry detergent that doesn’t harm the environment, shopping for Christmas gifts at a store that treats its lowest wage workers fairly, and investing in a company that deploys capital to benefit the underserved. By spending our money at businesses that commit to integrity, transparency, compassion, and responsibility to all stakeholders, we can make the incentive for businesses to act in these ways irresistible.
Capitalism, when infused with humanity, is beautiful. It does not demand the ruthlessness and willing exploitation that has been on display in the debates and defenses heard during the election. It can be conducted with dignity, love, and respect for all. That is our goal at High Impact. We may be small, but we are proud to do what we can to support and grow compassionate capitalism.
To find companies doing the most good, visit the B Lab website here.
To find nonprofit lenders who you can invest in or donate to, visit the CDFI Fund’s website here.
It’s mid-September, so you know what that means. Kids are going back to school, summer is slowly fading into fall, and everyone’s working on their New Year’s Resolutions.
Sound familiar? Probably not. Most people don’t start putting together resolutions for the new year until January 1st, or mid-December at best. TIME magazine wrote last December that 80% of resolutions fail, and I can summarize my explanation why in one word: preparation.
To make a major change in your life, business, or lending institution, you can’t just flip a switch. That’s why now is the perfect time to start working on your New Year’s Resolution.
Have a habit you’re trying to kick? I’m a habitual knuckle-cracker, and set out many years to stop. But simply saying I would never crack another knuckle starting January 1st didn’t work—it wasn’t until I took the time to research different habit-breaking techniques to prepare myself that I actually managed to stop. If you see me wearing a rubber band, now you’ll know why.
The same research and planning can help in the business world. Looking to increase lending volume in 2017? Don’t wait until December or January to build an execution strategy. You’ll need to raise capital, develop a marketing plan, and figure out how to keep workflow moving with a larger pipeline (and that’s where High Impact can help—see our underwriting services webpage for more).
At High Impact, we have a few big resolutions for 2017, and we’re starting to lay the groundwork for them now. We plan to launch a professional development series for our clients and the wider lending community, to broaden our expertise through talent acquisition, and to pursue new lines of business to further our mission. For more details, keep an eye on this blog to track what we’re up to.
Without proper preparation and a well thought-out plan of attack, it’s easy to get frustrated with personal goals or stumble out of the gate on business goals. The beginning of a new year is a great time to sit back and evaluate where you are and where you want to go, but if you want to achieve big things in 2017, now is the time to start.
Becoming a B Corp is a big deal to us for several reasons. It was a goal right from the very beginning, when High Impact was an idea and not yet a company. We serve a mission-focused industry, and we want to reflect the values of that industry in everything we do. We want our clients and the whole world to know that we are committed to using the dollars we earn from them to treat our employees, community, and environment responsibly, and they can count on us to use what profit we make to reinvest in new services, donate to worthy causes, and spark other enterprises that reflect our shared values.
Our certification also gives us access to a B Corp community made up of leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. We are excited to use that collective knowledge to find ways to improve our impact assessment score to become even stronger in our social impact mission (you can see how we did on the impact assessment here--check back in the future to see how much we improve!).
We deeply believe that if all companies were B Corps, the world would be far more compassionate, healthy, and full of opportunity. We may be small, but we must do our part to move in that direction. That’s why we’ve become a B.
High Impact is pleased to introduce our new blog, which we will use to share news about the company and our clients, discuss issues in underwriting and community development, and keep in touch with our clients and community. We will always alert you of updates through our social media accounts, so keep tabs on us by following us through the links to our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts in the footer of the page.
To kick off the blog, we have an exciting announcement coming up later this week. Be sure to check back to hear our (b)ig news!