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The Business of Good: News for Socially Conscious Entrepreneurs



Socially responsible business practices – including organic, fair trade, giving back and going green – are becoming the norm for for-profit, as well as nonprofit, businesses. We’re committed to covering this side of small business with our weekly wrap-up of news affecting businesses that have embraced this socially responsible model, combining a for-profit business with nonprofit sensibilities.

Enlightened Enterprise
The push for social responsible businesses is getting support from over the pond.  Last week, Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the London-based Royal Society of Arts, gave his annual lecture to the RSA and discussed how businesses, from food retailers to banks, need to address the ways in which they take greater responsibility for their social impact. The Business Green blog has a full transcript of his speech, in which he also says how company leaders need to align their commercial strategy with a desire to live and do well.

Facebook Friends
Socially conscious businesses looking for employees with social media savvy better look beyond how many followers they have. BusinessNewsDaily reports this week that companies need to be careful that they aren't hiring someone who hides behind a social media alter ego . Businesses should look for candidates who are engaged and have influential followers, according to the article.

Green Water
A company – and the products and services it provides – is able to change not only its own behavior, but that of a greater community of stakeholders, according to one sustainability expert.  Lewis Perkins, a Fast Company blogger and president of New House LLC, writes this week about the work Brita is doing with its "Filter for Good" campaign, which is partnering with music concerts and college campus events to encourage the next generation away from single-use plastic water bottles and toward a continued filtered water practice.

The Next Cake Boss?
Think your socially responsible businesses would make for the next great reality show? If so, RealityShowBuzz.com. is for you.  BusinessNewsDaily reports on the newly launched website, which is the first online forum dedicated to hosting reality shows featuring anyone and everyone – including business owners who want to promote their businesses. Web entrepreneur Will Moffett said the site has created a new forum where reality-obsessed fans can focus exclusively on the world of reality TV.

Social Innovation Summit
The United Nations is making it clear socially conscious practices are the responsibility of businesses around the globe.  Mashable's Zachary Sniderman writes about the recent UN Social Innovation Summit that took place in New York and focused on how to improve corporate social responsibility and how emerging technologies can revolutionize social good. The summit was filled with speakers who took impassioned and sometimes opposing views on how to tackle the two topics, Sniderman said.

A Helping Hand
Socially responsible businesses looking to expand their reach overseas can now turn to the Small Business Administration for help.  BusinessNewsDaily writes this week about the new Export Business Planner, a free online tool that helps small businesses gauge their readiness to export and help them develop an export business plan. The Planner is a downloadable PDF file that features an extensive compilation of worksheets, export research and information.

We hear about a lot of socially responsible businesses each week.  Here are this week’s favorites:

Emma at Home: A furnishing store offering rugs certified by Good Weave, which ensures they are child labor-free. A percentage of each rug sale goes to Good Weave, which also rescues child laborers from mills and builds schools for them.
On Twitter @egardner2

Elite SEM: A digital marketing agency specializing in search engine marketing that offers free online marketing services to nonprofit organizations under its Elite Cares CSR Program. The program is designed to aid nonprofits and charitable organizations in doing social good and helping communities reach their full potential.
On Twitter @eliteSEM

Wrecords by Monkey: A Brooklyn-based design company that uses reclaimed vinyl records to create handmade accessories with a low carbon footprint. Wrecords by Monkey, which offers bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces, has saved thousands of records from going into landfills.
On Twitter @wrecordsbymonkeFair Trade: A Marketing Boon and a Production Challenge " href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/975-fair-trade-products.html">

Fair Trade: A Marketing Boon and a Production Challenge Patrick Schwarzenegger on the Business of Giving Back " href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/904-social-entrepreneurship.html">
Patrick Schwarzenegger on the Business of Giving Back Eat, Pray, Shop: Celeb Author as Business Owner " href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/221-eat-pray-love-author-also-small-business-owner.html">
Eat, Pray, Shop: Celeb Author as Business Owner

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.