I am Jess! Ottawa brand strategist and website designer helping passionate service-based businesses grow with confidence through meaningful design. I'm the type of gal that use one too many exclamation mark in my emails and can only have one cup of coffee a day. Weird, I know. If you ever want to chat any thing biz, branding, or well - life, feel free to reach out!
Have you been thinking of building an impact-driven business that gives back?
Over the past few months, I have felt extremely lucky to still be working at my full-time job while building this business from the ground up. While it has been at times exhausting, having my 9-5 income support my side hustle is something that I am extremely grateful for. Not only has it allowed me to invest in my business coach more confidently, but it has also encouraged me to think about my business beyond just myself.
To use your business for good and to give back is really a win-win situation for everyone. Growing up, I have always loved giving back in any way that I can — whether that be my time, my skillset, or the money I have saved up from working one too many jobs. When I was exploring the adventures of entrepreneurship in my early twenties, I have always known that I would want to incorporate a give-back element for my business because I want to make a bigger difference and impact than I could ever dream of. Business and life are a constant cycle of giving and receiving. When we choose to give selflessly and generously, we are also telling the universe we are open to receiving an abundance of opportunities. Really, it’s just a cycle of energy!
So in the spirit of sharing and giving, here are 4 simple ways you can use your business to give back!
Share Your Knowledge
One of the most cost-effective and feel-good ways to give back is with what you already have: knowledge! Your expertise is extremely valuable and can be helpful to so many people that are in your community.
For example, you can:
Give a free workshop for an after-school program or community centre;
Volunteer your skills for a charity of your choice in your local area; or
Mentor a young aspiring entrepreneur in your local community
Acts of service is one of my love languages and is one of the top reasons why I love working with service-based entrepreneurs. I so admire those who courageously started their business offering their time and energy into helping others succeed. I mean, what’s more, beautiful than that?
Support A Local Charity Event
As an event planner by trade, I know how much work it takes to plan a successful event – let alone a fundraiser! Charity events play a vital role and can make or break the financial success of an organization throughout the year. Nowadays, creativity is out of this world and there are so many innovative ways to support an event while receiving innovative ROI and recognition. I mean, forget paying for a branded elevator, what about donating X amount of trees to attendees or branding a wellness or DIY crafts area? The possibilities are ENDLESS!
Supporting a local charity event will allow you to meet like-minded individuals within your own local community as well as position your business to be philanthropic, thoughtful, and generous. As a service-based business owner, you will also stand out amongst a sea of corporate sponsors that have deep pockets! I, personally, always admire small businesses that give back to their economy and strive to support them wherever I can as a customer!
Build A Scholarship Program
If you are a bit more established in your business and offer programs/courses as a part of your services, a scholarship program is an excellent way to provide an opportunity to those that are passionately invested but perhaps financially limited or in the starting stages of their business. Think of yourself as a fairy godmother who is supporting someone to bring their dreams to life.
Building a scholarship program does take a bit of coordination and planning but the outcome is absolutely well worth it. Your time, energy, money, and expertise are valuable so I definitely encourage you to develop guidelines around your program and eligibility. That will weed out those that aren’t serious (you know, those that enter 50 IG contests a day or download every freebie possible with no intention of completing them) and will attract the ones that are serious. Because we all know this, those who dare to step outside of their comfort zone and put themselves out there will do wonderful things.
Being a give-back partner looks differently for each small business and will vastly depend on what you do and who you are partnering with. Give back partnerships are an incredible way to support a charity or not-for-profit of your choice through monetary donations at a set period of time (i.e. monthly, bi-annually, etc.).
For example, a give-back partnership could look like…
Donating a percentage of your total business revenue; or
Donating a portion of your revenue from a specific program, service, or product.
Charities and not-for-profit organizations value give-back partners immensely because they are reliable supporters and are the backbone of the organization. Without them, a lot of day-to-day operations or immediate needs would not be made possible. And more importantly, you get to provide your clients with the opportunity to work with a small business that values giving back!
What does that mean for us?
Speaking of Give-Back partnerships, as some of you may know, Studio Crescent (formerly Grace & Oak) is rooted in purpose, impact, and collaboration. My biggest honor, as a service-based business owner, is to help womxn achieve their dreams and to serve my clients in the best way that I can through strategic and meaningful branding. I want them to be able to show up passionately and confidently every stinkin’ day while doing what they love. It goes beyond me — It’s also about inspiring the next generation of girls to chase fearlessly after their own dreams.
So, in celebration of the launch of the #IStandForGirlscampaign, I am excited to announce that we have partnered with Kurandza as a monthly give-back partner!
Kurandza is a non-profit social enterprise that invests in the future of women and girls in Mozambique. Through education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development programs, women and girls learn to become leaders in their villages, sharing their skills and knowledge with the rest of their community, and creating opportunities for thousands of people. Kurandza is currently providing education to 200 girls in Mozambique, and creating jobs for women.
What does that mean for you?
As a client of Studio Crescent, a small portion of your project will go towards their immediate needs as an organization, which include funding their Holistic Education Program, improving their partner pre-school, and paying dignified salaries to the on-the-ground staff in Mozambique. That means when you are choosing to invest in your business, you are also investing in the dreams of a young girl.
I am so grateful to have found a partner like Kurandza and I am eager to share more about their impact over the next few months. If you are interested in getting involved with the #IStandForGirls campaign or sponsoring a girl, click here.
If you are interested in chatting more about Grace & Oak’s give-back program and how we could work together, please get in touch because I would absolutely be DELIGHTED to speak with you!