5 Socially Responsible Business Ideas You Can Start Online

It is often said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. If you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, but you’re not sure where to start, consider your core values.

Are there any causes you feel passionately about? Chances are, there is a way to transform your passion into an ethical, socially responsible business.

While socially responsible businesses are meant to be profitable, they are also designed to improve society. This can be done by helping people get access to more resources or popularizing ideas that contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. 

If you’re interested in starting a socially responsible business online, consider the ideas below.

Small Business Marketplace

Massive retailers like Amazon and Walmart have made it very difficult for smaller companies to reach customers. As small businesses may not have the know-how or technical expertise to set up and market an eCommerce store, they are unable to compete with already established retailers. 

As large companies threaten to push mom and pop retailers out of business, the Buy Local movement has gained momentum. More consumers are eschewing the convenience of mega-retailers to support local and small businesses. Despite the demand, small retailers may have difficulty connecting to these customers. 

If you have a knack for marketing and online retail, you can use those skills to promote small businesses through an online marketplace. Small retailers can either pay a small membership fee or pay a percentage of every item sold through the website. 

As a result, local retailers can have the web presence of a larger eCommerce store at a lower price. A small business marketplace can also serve as an effective marketing tool by introducing customers to new vendors. 

Equitable Coaching

If you put several high-achieving individuals in the same room, you will probably find that they had one thing in common – they all attribute coaching to their success.

While working with a coach is commonplace in the C-Suite, it is much more difficult for everyday people to reap the benefits of coaching. 

Many people simply aren’t aware of the coaching industry. Even if they are, typical coaching packages can cost thousands of dollars, making the service unaffordable for many. If you enjoy helping people reach their potential, equitable coaching may be a good fit for you.

Equitable coaches use their work to advance social causes, such as environmental justice, equality, and economic fairness. As an equitable coach, you clients can be individuals, small business owners, or even large corporations. 

While the tactics will vary, coaches may use sliding scale pricing to make their services more accessible or work with businesses to improve their social responsibility policies. Coaches with a diversity coaching certification can also consult on diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. 

Nonprofit Consulting

Despite what the label implies, nonprofit organizations have revenue that they can use to improve their organization. Nonprofits often hire consultants to help with numerous processes, including fundraising, program design, volunteer recruitment, and accounting.

If you want to work with nonprofits, consider how your skills and experience could assist an organization. A background in healthcare would be beneficial to nonprofits addressing health inequities while management experience can be applied to training nonprofit leaders.

Nonprofit consultants often earn certifications in a specific area, like capacity building or nonprofit management. If you plan to help nonprofits with their fundraising efforts, you may need to register with the local Secretary of State. 

Native Plant Landscaping Design

Traditional garden designs, with large, sprawling lawns and imported plants, are not great for the environment. Many people also use chemicals to get rid of weeds and pests that can cause long-term damage to the local ecosystem.

As people become more aware of the importance of sustainable garden design, there is a growing demand for consultants who are familiar with the local flora. Working as a native plant landscaping designer is another great socially responsible business idea and a wonderful opportunity for anyone who loves nature and gardening. 

You can create courses that teach people how to design a native garden or conduct individual consultations online. As a landscape designer, you can suggest plant varieties that support local pollinators, an important part of the food web. 

Sustainable designs also consider the garden’s natural conditions, such as average rainfall, sun hours, and air temperatures to create landscapes that consume minimal energy and water.

Upcycling eCommerce Shop

If you’re creative and love using your hands, opening an upcycling shop may be an excellent use of your talents.

Upcycling is the process of taking old items and repurposing them into new functional pieces. While nearly anything can be upcycled, the most common items are clothing and furniture. 

Upcycling minimizes waste by preventing unused materials from entering landfills. When customers purchase upcycled items, they are also extending the usable life of the material, which makes the process more sustainable. 

As upcycled items are one-of-a-kind, this type of socially responsible business will attract customers who appreciate craftsmanship and prefer unique products. If you share your creations through an online shop, you will be able to ship your products across the world.