Connect with us


Making a Real Difference: How Your Business Can Create a Greater Impact on Society




– Choosing compostable paper bags over plastic packaging in your store.
– Offering fresh leftovers to the less-privileged living close to your eatery.
– Free haircuts every weekend for neighborhood kids whose parents can’t afford salon fees.
– Scaling your brand by cutting down on some less critical divisions in favor of affordability.
– Hiring well-vetted ex-convicts in your establishment.

The list goes on and on.

Beyond a pure profit-driven era and in an ideal world, the social impact of a business is just as critical to its overall success as the economic impact. Your business should be held to the moral responsibility of contributing to positive efforts, on any scale, against social injustice and other challenges faced by its host community. Contrary to the general misconception, social impact isn’t just about philanthropy.

“Social impact is tangibly improving the health and wellbeing of other people in society,” says Durell Coleman, an American entrepreneur, social impact consultant, multi-niched engineer, and Stanford lecturer. “The challenge in the definition is that a lot of things can appear to mimic this impact. However, the parameters for measurements are questions such as – who are the people who have some of the biggest health and wellbeing challenges? Are we making things easier for them? Are we creating things that are improving outcomes for them? As a social impact strategist, I think of who’s not being designed for and who’s not being served. Who’s left out of the systems that we currently have? This is how improvements are effected.”

Coleman is the founder and CEO of DC Design, a leading Black-owned social impact consulting firm and strategy development brand headquartered in San Francisco. With many years of experience working with nonprofits, foundations, and governments, Coleman has developed countless long-lasting community-centered strategies for directly impacting lives where it actually matters. He shares some thoughts on how social impact can be incorporated into everyday businesses on any feasible scale.

Social impact as part of your core business plan

One year. Five years. Twenty years.

It doesn’t exactly matter how long your business has existed. At any point in your growth trajectory, quality change can be envisioned. Cost-effective or non-cost strategies can be developed to scale your business up to an establishment making positive and genuinely helpful impacts on society. You’d have to identify what area of community or society you’d like to touch directly. For example, do you want to include more affordable options in your product list to tend to lower-income families, or would you like to include a free delivery option to nearby neighborhoods?

“Start with the people you want to serve,” Coleman says. “Not simply thinking about what’s needed to create change, but talking to them directly about what their experiences have been like in confronting the problem you hope to solve. If you want to affect homelessness, talk to the homeless. If you want to affect Black wealth inequality, talk to low-income Black people. If your work is about reducing mass incarceration, talk to those who are or have been incarcerated. They understand where the system failed them, where they could have chosen differently, and what your priorities should be.”

A combination of these insights is then applied to come up with solid approaches and viable strategies for creating directly visible impact. The result is the elevation of these social challenges as these ideas are solidified into long-term sustainable solutions.

Inclusivity against all forms of inequality

Escapism and denial about the social injustices thriving in the world, especially in the United States, would only hurt society in the long run.

“Inequality affects people across every demographic, spanning through parameters such as race where Black and brown people are undeniably affected by ongoing social injustice,” says Coleman, who runs Design the Future, a flagship program teaching high school kids to design products and apps for people with disabilities. “Other factors are gender, where women still battle career biases and representation; income levels, where lower income earners are often confined to lower quality schools, healthcare, and services; rap sheets as ex-convicts re-enter society with little hope for survival; and post-employment care, where war veterans are left to fend for themselves with inadequate assistance from the government.”

A business or brand seeking to make a real social impact must embrace the obligations of equality of inclusion in its range of services.

Tech firms can hire just as many males as females, cosmetics brands can include more dark skin tones in their product array to serve people of every color, fashion brands can supply plus-sized clothing at the same prices as other sizes, clinics can offer free therapy to war veterans, real estate agents can offer lower service percentages to the less-privileged, and more businesses can give formerly incarcerated people a chance.

Be kind to your labor force

A business can make all the social impact in the world but it would all be for nothing if the employees or hired labor, the actual driving force of the enterprise, are unhappy and uncared for. Social impact starts from the immediate environment and broadens out toward larger society.

In conclusion, Coleman describes his personal approach to employee wellness.

“Henry Ford had it right. He paid his people enough so that they could hopefully buy the cars that they were producing, and it all worked out,” he says. “I run a for-profit social impact business. I have to be efficient and I have to make enough money to support my people, my employees. I try to bring in the best employees possible. I try to give them health care. I want to make sure that they have everything that they need to thrive in their own lives.”

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


From Wealth to Fields: A Billionaire’s Commitment to Small Farmers




In recent years, billionaire Stefan Soloviev has transitioned from the world of New York real estate to the fertile farmlands of the American West. 

His journey from urban wealth to rural development showcases a unique dedication to revitalizing small farming communities and transforming the agricultural landscape.

A New Vision for Agriculture

Stefan Soloviev, son of the late real estate tycoon Sheldon Solow, has amassed a considerable amount of farmland across Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico. Soloviev’s agricultural enterprise, Crossroads Agriculture, spans over 400,000 acres, making him one of the largest landowners in the United States. 

This substantial investment is not merely a financial venture; it represents a commitment to supporting and empowering small farmers in these regions.

Soloviev’s approach to farming is characterized by his desire to move away from competitive practices that often leave small farmers struggling. Instead, he emphasizes collaboration and sustainability. 

By leveraging his resources, Soloviev aims to create a farming environment where smallholders can thrive alongside larger operations. This philosophy is particularly evident in his strategic acquisition of the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad, a critical transportation link for agricultural products in the region.

Revitalizing Rural Communities

Soloviev’s impact extends beyond farmland acquisition. His purchase of the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad at a bankruptcy auction for $10.7 million highlights his broader vision for the agricultural sector. 

This railroad, previously owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings, connects the San Luis Valley to the national rail network, facilitating the efficient transport of goods and boosting local economies.

The acquisition is seen as a positive development for the San Luis Valley, with Soloviev’s Colorado Pacific Railroad expected to be more community-focused and supportive of local initiatives compared to the previous owners. This includes potential cooperation with local recreational projects, such as the proposed Heart of the Valley Trail, which aims to integrate rail and trail use for community benefit.

Soloviev’s dedication to the region is also reflected in his willingness to work with local stakeholders to address community needs. His approach contrasts with more traditional, profit-driven business models and underscores his commitment to fostering a sustainable and inclusive agricultural ecosystem.

Building a Sustainable Future

Soloviev’s investment in the Colorado Pacific Railroad and the broader agricultural infrastructure is part of a long-term vision to create a more resilient and sustainable farming community. By improving transportation networks and providing support to small farmers, he hopes to mitigate some of the challenges these farmers face, such as market access and transportation costs.

Moreover, Soloviev’s initiatives are seen as a way to preserve and enhance the rural way of life, which is increasingly threatened by industrial farming and urban encroachment. His efforts to balance economic viability with environmental stewardship demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the complexities of modern agriculture.

In conclusion, Stefan Soloviev’s transition from urban real estate mogul to a champion of small farmers is a testament to his innovative and community-oriented approach. 

His significant investments in farmland and infrastructure, coupled with a commitment to sustainability and local engagement, are paving the way for a brighter future for small farmers in Colorado and beyond. Through his efforts, Soloviev is not only transforming

the agricultural landscape but also setting a precedent for how wealth and resources can be used to foster positive change in rural communities​. 

Continue Reading