Social Impact, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Impact Strategy, Business For Good

Purpose Driven Business

Venture Forward Strategies was born from a shared passion to create change in our community and a belief that business can be used as a force for positive social impact.

Our path to working in social impact has been less than predictable. We started from very different points, professions, and places. We were both interested in creating lasting, sustainable change in Northeast Ohio, leading our mutual connections to introduce us nearly four years ago. We met over coffee and meals and bounced many ideas around for a few years. Sifting through different ways to problem solve the biggest issues in Cleveland brought us to one common denominator – people. How might we create lasting value and improve the well-being of all citizens and stakeholders?

The question was urging us to learn more. And that we did. We both completed the Executive Program at the Center for Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania. The program provided us with tools, an incredible network of practitioners, confidence to create something new, and a strategic social impact framework. Armed with best practices, we were ready to make change.

So, we decided to dive in and start Venture Forward Strategies. Our mission is to help business leaders create more value for their company and its stakeholders by integrating social responsibility into strategy and operations. Business can, and must, be used for good and create social impact. We see Social impact as the effect a company’s actions and inactions have on the well being of its stakeholders – from suppliers to employees, to customers and the community.

A recent PwC survey found that 79% of business leaders believe purpose is central to business success, yet 68% still said purpose is not a guide to leadership decisions. Many companies suffer from a disengaged workforce, lack of talent, and competitive appeal. A Gallup poll found only 33% of employees find real meaning from an employer’s purpose. In 2016 Deloitte, found that millennials, the largest available workforce and consumer base, feel more loyal to companies that are meaningful to them. There is growing evidence that companies with purpose achieve better business outcomes. Leading with purpose and making an impact is the new normal. Consumers “now expect companies to lead with purpose, by deeply embedding social and environmental impact into their very reason for being.”

Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe companies should take the lead in driving social and environmental change and more companies are stepping up. As a recent New York Times headline put it, “Businesses Look at Washington and Say, ‘Never Mind, We’ll Do It’.”

The time is ripe to be a leader in value creation. We are at an inflection point generationally and environmentally to provide a more positive impact. We believe every company should be driven by values and make human capital a top priority. Venture Forward Strategies aims to shift existing companies towards a purpose-driven model to provide real, positive value to employees, the community, and the environment.

Each company will have its own unique approach to defining and integrating values. Venture Forward Strategies will guide you through the process, support ideation, and experimentation, and ensure successful implementation to make your company a leader in twenty-first century value creation.


Sustainability Consulting for Business

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