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September 11, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

How do you make the case for social entrepreneurship or corporate social responsibility

The marketing pitch for social entrepreneurship varies a bit by sector (ie energy, etc…)

Here are 7 core lines of reasoning I would suggest:
1. The current model is flawed. The market is distorted which results in X harm.
2. CSR is good for company bottom lines (The Good Index of the Stock Market proves). I believe some of that is based on some studies which suggest that company responsibility enhances employee motivation and morale.
3. Customers are willing to pay a premium for socially responsible products
4. CSR builds trust, uniqueness, community, and relationship. CSR builds brand and personality behind the brand.
5. Responsibility (aka Character, Leadership, and Ethics)
6. Our historic moment in time (cultural shift, trends in consumer behavior, etc…). The urgency of the change.
7. Our customers are demanding it. They will pay extra. They will brand-switch if we don’t make the switch. (I’m not suggesting you manipulate the truth, just that this is a possible line of reasoning if the science/data suport it)

Empirical examples of success prove 2, 3, and 4. Whole Foods, Method, etc…

You could at various times pitch that big brands are making the change and growing their bottom lines. Thats part of #2. Make the case that the competition specifically is making the change or is likely to make the change. Making the case on a sector-specific reasons or data will obviously be more helpful.

Pitch the change as inevitable. Now is the key time to take advantage of the trend & to lock in customers. (the value of this line of reasoning varies based on if you are talking about making an existing company socially responsible or launching a new venture. it seems to be more effective with the former).

Here are possible options:
Welcome | B Corporation
Haas School of Business (Center for Responsible Business)

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