Where I find the greatest success in businesses that have a social angle is when they have a very discreet and clearly defined purpose. So for some, it is to increase entrepreneurship and retail opportunities for black or brown owned bookstores or grocery stores, or in the sort of day-to-day commerce role and making that retail presence work really, really well.
In others, it is solving a gap in the workforce and in training and saying, we, for instance, in solar, we’ve had a really big challenge over the last 15 years that I’ve been involved in, back to my days chairing the state’s Green Jobs Taskforce 13, 14 years ago, where we recognized that there was not enough diversity in the early stage apprentices and entry-level jobs coming to the solar world. And so solving those challenges at the workforce level might mean that we’re developing projects in underserved areas and insisting that not only do we have black or brown or BIPOC owned contractors as our partners to build the projects, but that they’re actually creating workforce opportunities along the way.
So I’m very lucky to work with a client who insisted on that. But more and more, if you can define what your purpose is, the easier it is for us to walk down that path together and at speed because we just can’t wait to solve these problems. They require attention and intention to get them done. Avisen Legal, PA are business and impact advisors – who happen to be lawyers. We are grounded in Midwestern values with a broad national reach.