Patagonia, Tesla, Zambrero, Intrepid Travel, Outland Denim, Future Super, Felix Mobile, Zero Co. What do all these companies have in common?
They are part of a growing movement of purpose-driven companies. While Patagonia and Tesla are well-known global role models, the others are all Australian-born companies that lead with purpose. This happens across a range of industries – financial services, insurance, retail, fast food, fashion, packaged goods, toys, travel, telecommunications, automobiles, staffing agencies, professional services and more. The goal has entered the mainstream.
What does it mean to be purpose driven?
At their highest level, purpose-driven companies are literally serving their purpose. Their commitment drives them to be leaders, activists, educators, facilitators, changemakers, collaborators and innovators. Profit is the result, not the engine. They will leave money on the table if it conflicts with their goal. Yet they financially outperform companies with no overarching goal and companies with a passive goal statement.
Generating profits through purpose is more than a mantra. It is a reality that is shaping a new generation of business leaders and the promise of a better future. To better understand this, let’s take a closer look at some local purpose-driven businesses.
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Outland Denim — Empower vulnerable women through jobs, training and opportunities
In October 2018, during an official royal visit to Australia with husband Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex stepped out in a pair of sleek, black, high-waisted jeans. The jeans were from a small Australian denim company called Outland Denim.
Founded in 2011, Outland Denim’s goal was to give victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia a place to learn new skills, start afresh, and support their families without fear. It should be noted that the jeans market is worth $66 billion globally and the human trafficking industry is worth $150 billion in comparison.
Based in Australia with a training and production center in Cambodia, the company invests in the personal development and well-being of its employees. What began as a way for victims of sexual exploitation to engage in safe and dignified employment as they rebuild their lives has since expanded to accept employees from a variety of backgrounds of vulnerability and operation.
The Meghan Markle effect has given the brand millions of dollars in free publicity, which has boosted its global awareness. The brand was picked up by Nordstrom and Bloomingdales in the United States and outsold many well-known brands. But it’s the combination of the brand’s sleek elegance, the story of its creation, and the ongoing social and environmental impact the company creates that makes it such a powerful and compelling story and source of inspiration. inspiration for other businesses.
intrepid journey — We want to be the best travel agency in the world
Intrepid Travel was founded with the goal of creating a style of travel that could benefit both travelers and the places and people they visit. Responsible travel.
Intrepid is all about traveling the local way. It uses local accommodation and transport; its travelers eat at locally owned and operated restaurants; and it uses local tour guides. Not only does this give travelers an authentic local experience, but it also means their money is spent with locals, benefiting local communities.
Over the years, Intrepid has advocated on issues including climate action, animal welfare, child protection and gender equality. It was the first global tour operator to end elephant rides – a risky move, but doing the right thing not only helped grow the business, but changed the industry.
In 2019, it had achieved its fourth consecutive year of record financial results. Then the pandemic hit and Intrepid went to zero income almost overnight
During a period of hibernation, Intrepid relied on its work in animal welfare tourism and sustainability. It has opened its own policy and toolkit on animal welfare that other tour operators can use. She also published her 10-step quick start guide to decarbonizing your travel businessmaking it available to others in the industry.
Intrepid Urban Adventures (Intrepid’s day trip brand) pivoted, offering online experiences that offered customers a way to travel while staying at home. This action also supported tour guides while tourism was suspended.
Intrepid’s 2025 strategy is to grow with purpose. Its goal is to become the world’s first billion-dollar for-profit travel agency by 2025. It doesn’t shy away from wanting to be profitable. Its leaders recognize that profitability is essential for it to realize its ambitions to be the best travel agency in the world.
As the purpose-driven business movement grows, it’s important to understand that their success is market-driven. Employees, consumers and investors are demanding change. Purpose-driven companies respond to these demands. And the needs of society.
This article was first published by Women’s Program.