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Lean Impact by Eric Ries, Ann Mei Chang

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Chapter FourteenA World of Impact

We are at an extraordinary moment in the evolution of our society, a point at which charitable entities are increasingly embracing business‐oriented approaches to expand their scale and impact, while companies are increasingly recognizing the need to balance profits with their benefit to society. As the two ends of this spectrum creep towards each other, new hybrid entities and financing have emerged from social enterprises to benefit corporations and from venture philanthropy to impact investing. Only by harnessing the best of both our hearts and minds can we create an ethical, inclusive, and prosperous world.

Research by Cone Communications has found that 89% of Americans would be more likely to purchase from companies that are associated with a good cause and 60% weigh social and environmental commitments in their investment decisions.1 The millennial generation has particularly embodied this spirit, with a more integrated view of profit and purpose. Social values influence where they work, what they buy, and how they invest. Cone also found that 75% of millennials (versus 55% of the overall population) would accept a lower salary to work at a socially responsible company.2 As the appetite for social responsibility has grown more sophisticated, simply associating with a cause is no longer enough. More and more consumers, employees, and investors are looking beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and expecting meaningful ...

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