Ready for Better Business

Common Good Solutions - Image

Through movie culture and media, I was ingrained with an image of a successful business: fancy suits, material world, elitism, glory in the competition. One clear winner. “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Then I experienced real life. And I learned that living to be the only winner comes at a price: inequality, a great divide.

Since participating in the Humans of ImpAct project, I have learned that I am not alone in feeling there is a better way to do business. Enter: The Social Enterprise. The new, premium way to conduct business. Businesses that supply quality work, service and craftsmanship, all while paying attention to –and investing in– the needs of their communities. Businesses that only succeed if they are crossing the finish line with their community members alongside.

Common Good Solutions - ImageIt turns out the United Nations also agrees. The UN has prioritized 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including, #1 No Poverty, #6 Clean Water and Sanitation, and #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth. Businesses operating as social enterprises easily qualify under more than one of the 17 goals.

My outlook on conducting business shifting, I found myself believing that there needed to be change. But what exactly can change? Who can change it?

Common Good Solutions (CGS), operating out of Halifax, Nova Scotia has recognized the immense need for change in business. They are striving to assist organizations achieve their ultimate social impact in their own communities. CGS assists business groups and individuals with their social finance planning, coaching to help meet their social missions, and consulting to connect social impact goals with business strategies.

They honour the UN SDG’s best through leading by example. With actions such as renting their office space from a small local business, operating under Bullfrog’s Green Energy Program, paying a livable wage of more than $20/hour to all employees, and adhering to rigorous standards to maintain a B-Corp certification, CGS is clearly taking responsibility for their footprint. This contributes to a sustainable future for their city and community (SDG #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities).

Common Good Solutions - ImageCGS also works closely with government departments, organizing poverty-reducing social “Innovation Labs” to bring people and communities together. With the goal of identifying barriers and developing solutions, their approach to Reduce Inequalities (SDG #10) gathers and organizes community members to ensure the people affected are the voices that are heard. Innovation Labs have been conducted by CGS to improve childcare accessibility, identify barriers for young African Nova Scotians seeking employment, and to create transportation solutions for rural Cape Breton Regional Municipality workers. Learning about social enterprises, and Common Good Solutions, has completely transformed my image of a successful business. Success measured in positive community impact, actively taking responsibility for your carbon footprint, seeing the results of your hard work lift and systemically change a community – now that is a successful business!