Small Business, Big Impact: The Journey of the Small Business Dollar
By: Jenny Morgan
My mom was fired on Thanksgiving Day when I was a kid. I will never forget the moment when she answered a work call on my grandmother’s landline hours before the festivities were scheduled to start. I was too young to understand why she was crying and utterly appalled by her now ex-boss’s timing in delivering this news, but I knew it wasn’t good.
Years later, that day was rewritten to be the day my mom decided to be a small business owner. The following decades of my mom’s life were filled with learning, failing fast, scaling faster, and a passion for building something from the ground up and watching it flourish. She is truly an example of strength, perseverance, and ambition, traits that many leaders and entrepreneurs embody (or strive to).
As a small business ourselves, we empathize with the struggle, but also relish the small wins that come along the way. That got the Tradewater team thinking about how we can empower individuals, small businesses, and enterprises to join the fight for climate solutions, while being empathetic to the challenges we all face. Business owners and leaders are inundated with building the foundation of a business, establishing a trusted brand identity, navigating sustainable scalability, and comprehending resource allocation. For small businesses to produce environmental and social impact, there must be a strategic focus, otherwise sustainable action will easily fall through the cracks. Balancing profit generation and purposefulness can be challenging, but as we have witnessed, it can be done effectively, benefiting all stakeholders. It is our job as “climate solutionists” to prevent these challenges from discouraging businesses from joining the climate movement.
“Businesses of all sizes will need to contribute to decarbonization efforts by reducing behaviors harmful to the environment and by engaging in sustainable practices. As large organizations look to decarbonize their supply chains, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) can increase their value proposition by joining the circular economy.” World Trade Organization
Small and medium businesses represent over 90% of the business population. They provide over 60% of employment and 55% of GDP in developed economies (World Trade Organization). There are over 332 million small businesses distributed around the world and that number is continuing to grow (Statista). With this much momentum and opportunity, small businesses have a voice in how much industry can contribute toward climate solutions.
“Profit for a company is like oxygen for a person. If you don’t have enough of it, you are out of the game, but if you think your life is about breathing you’re really missing something.” – Peter Drucker
Outside of the benefits of knowing that you are leaving the world a better place through your work, small businesses contributing to climate solutions are experiencing a unique value proposition, growth, customer engagement, and trust by aligning their organizations with environmental and social values.
Brand Loyalty & Trust
- 80% of emissions are derived from supply chains (McKinsey), therefore, large organizations are partnering with small businesses that are critical to achieving decarbonization targets.
- Personal, values-driven relationships with customers can increase a brand’s loyalty and trust.
- Customer service is no longer limited to your response rate and ability to provide solutions in a timely manner. It is more than that now. It is about providing the customer an experience that aligns with their values and displays your commitment to providing a flourishing community through profitable business.
- Consumers are looking for opportunities to actively engage with the brands they support. They want to share with their networks that they support quality products and services that also positively impact the planet.
Innovative & Motivated Workforce
- Small businesses create jobs and support a thriving economy, which is imperative to an equitable and prosperous community.
- This sector, which represents most businesses, demonstrates the untapped potential to promote environmental and social equity for everyone to live more fulfilled, safer, and healthier lives.
- With an engaged community and workforce, organizations are reaping the benefits of retaining talented employees during this time of resignation. 88% of the majority workforce say their job is more fulfilling when employers provide opportunities to make a positive impact (Cone).
At Tradewater, we work with small- and medium-sized business partners that are concentrating on their growth strategies, but also have the desire to create positive impact by taking meaningful climate action. We give businesses the power to calculate their emissions easily and for free, offset their emissions, and reduce their footprint over time with various resources. They see the value this contribution can make to their business, customers, and the planet. These organizations are comprised of passionate individuals that bring value to their organizations and their communities. Giving small businesses the opportunity to drive impact and asking them what is truly required to see their communities improve allows for a fresh perspective and enormous returns.
“Small- to medium-sized businesses typically emit anywhere between 10 to 300 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year. Since the CO2 equivalent we work with targets harmful greenhouse gases that are 10,900 times more potent than carbon, we are putting up a legitimate fight against a climate catastrophe. That’s only possible with small businesses getting involved.” – Jenny Morgan, Tradewater
This group is largely untapped, yet brimming with information that can drive climate solutions forward. With this sector’s involvement, we can meaningfully influence the direction of climate change. We have that power. Our mission is to improve our environment and create economic opportunity through the collection, control, and destruction of potent, high impact greenhouse gases. Small businesses can decide how we experience this time in our lives and societies that follow through climate action. To entrepreneurs like my mom, you are an inspiration to us all and our collective contribution to this world will be felt by billions.
If you want to learn more about how your business can get involved in taking meaningful climate action, visit https://cnc.tradewater.us. You can calculate your emissions for free, offset your footprint, and reduce your emissions over time. Climate solutions are within reach! Ultimately saving you costs, increasing efficiencies, and cleaning up the planet all at the same time. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and we look forward to partnering with you!