What does it mean to be a purpose first business?

What does it mean to be a purpose first business?

For businesses everywhere, it’s definitely become cool to care.

The Sustainable Development Goals, if achieved, could unlock at least $12 trillion in opportunities for businesses by 2030. As sustainably minded millennials become the dominant spending power, the demand for ethical and sustainable products is increasing and ethical markets are growing.

Globally, businesses have the power to be a force for good – but what does that mean?

We are proud to present the #EthicalHour Manifesto – a new theory of change about how businesses can be a force for good, and why they should.


Our vision is simple…


To unite the most vibrant, supportive and sustainable community of changemakers on the internet.

Our mission

Ethical Hour is on a mission to help good businesses grow.

To create a world where ethical and sustainable consumption is the default position for every consumer, because all businesses operate that way automatically.

To build a future where business is a powerful force for good.

We believe in a world where businesses solve problems: for their consumers, for their community and for the planet.

Where instead of making people want things, they make things that people want.

Where instead of having more, they focus on giving more.

Our mission is to unite a community that believe in our vision and empower them to make it happen.


What does a good business look like?

Ethics, sustainability purpose and care are at the heart of a good business. They operate for profit, but put purpose first.

There are four key elements to a good business:

For Purpose

A good business has a social mission and a goal of creating social value.

Triple Bottom Line

A good business measures their success by the value they give, by the impact they make and against a triple bottom line – people, planet, profit.

For Profit

A good business knows that without consistent, growing, scalable income, their impact cannot come to life in a meaningful way.

Global Goals

A good business recognises the opportunities within the Sustainable Development Goals and embeds impact activities to contribute towards them in all operations.



There are three key attitudes which need to be collectively adopted to make business a force for good. These are:

Empowering Consumers

The days of selling are over. Businesses exist to solve problems and provide value for their customers beyond financial transactions. This new breed of purpose-first businesses needs a new way to promote themselves, to build genuine connections and engage in trust-based selling.

Ethical marketing moves from transaction to meaningful interaction, where customers and businesses are equal partners. Both are empowered to achieve their goals and create positive impact together.


Collaboration Over Competition

In a world where business is a force for good, there is no need for competition. We are allies for the same cause; we operate through abundance with our own unique brilliance to celebrate and contribute. There is plenty of work for everyone and we rise and thrive together, creating greater impact as we go.

Collaboration is the new way of business. We are working together to create a stable economy of conscious consumerism where all businesses can achieve triple bottom line success and make a positive impact.


A Culture of Giving Back

We have all the resources needed to solve global problems and achieve the SDGs, but we don’t have the connections needed to turn our desire to make a difference into meaningful action. Consumer capitalism creates a deficiency cycle. The new model of conscious consumerism, with giving back embedded, creates a sufficient cycle where everyone is empowered to make a positive impact.

When businesses create a culture of giving they become more inclusive, create more impact and achieve more success against a triple bottom line. This is how we will create a better world.




Think Global, Act Local

We will create a world where business is a powerful force for good by empowering individual businesses.

We will embrace the power of small, recognising that everyone can make a difference, and encourage all businesses, no matter their age or size, to embed giving back. We will empower them to use their impact story to forge productive, meaningful collaborations.

Through these partnerships we will create a wave that lifts all ships and makes meaningful, global impact together.

The Sustainable Development Goals gives us the impact framework. These will be achieved by creating, scaling and uniting purpose first businesses.


What does scalable impact look like?

To achieve sustainable, scalable and meaningful impact, businesses must be financially stable, strategic and customer-centric. Successful businesses of the future will start with sustainability in mind. Although this is the end goal, it will be embedded and worked towards at every stage of their lifecycle.

Ethical Hour will empower businesses to become sustainable and achieve scalable impact by connecting a community and teaching businesses ethical marketing strategies and impact-driven business strategies – helping them embed the mission, mindset and messaging needed to achieve impact in a meaningful way, as quickly and effectively as possible.


How we give back:

As well as supporting purpose first businesses to scale through impact marketing strategies, coaching and training inside our membership community, we are proud to be a purpose-first business ourselves.

Ethical Hour have partnered with B1G1 to embed giving back into every level of our business and create meaningful impact against the Sustainable Development Goals. You can track our impact in real time here.

B1G1 is a really powerful concept – working to the vision that for every transaction in the world, some element of giving back could be included for positive impact. I was honoured to meet the Founder Masami Sato in Manchester at the end of 2018 and become a B1G1 member. Along with 2,700+ other businesses from 43 countries, I’ll be embedding giving back into the core of my business.

Here’s a statement from Paul Polman (former CEO of Unilever), who is regarded by many as the most sustainable business leader in the world, about the power and importance of impact businesses, B1G1 and the SDGs:


If you’re interested in becoming a purpose-first business but don’t know where to start, or you already are driven by values and would like to turn your ethics into a competitive advantage, check out the membership community, where you can find over 40 hours of training, monthly live sessions, connections, opportunities and support.


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