How Businesses Can Use The Power Of Scale To Reduce Waste And Promote New Talent
Large businesses can fast-track entrepreneurial acceleration and improve operational practices to benefit communities and the environment
With the advantage of scale, large enterprises are ideally positioned to use their size to help fast-track better business practices that can improve communities, from reducing the amount waste they produce to promoting rising talent among startups and marginalized groups.
But what exactly do these better practices look like? PSFK identified the circular economy and entrepreneurial acceleration as two key areas where large enterprises can use their size to everyone’s advantage. While larger operations naturally produce more waste, that also means they are the most important pieces to solving the global waste puzzle, and have the most sway in changing both operational practices and consumer mindsets.
“The circular economy is, in essence, the way of moving forward from 200 years of linear value chains,” said Peter Lacy, senior managing director at Accenture Strategy, in an interview with CNBC. “What the circular economy does is it changes that relationship in the shape of those value chains to be about take, make, take, make.”
Similarly, large enterprises are also best positioned to help nurture the next generation of business leaders and upcoming ventures, using existing knowledge and resources to lead entrepreneurs to success. Below, we explore three examples that illustrate the ways in which large companies are using their size to help enact meaningful changes within their operations and beyond into the communities they serve.
Facebook will be investing tens of millions of dollars in Community Boost, a program that will travel to 30 cities around the U.S. in 2018 with the hopes of teaching digital job skills to the unemployed, internet literacy to those just getting online, startup methodology to entrepreneurs and customer growth to small business owners. The program is problematic, however, since the skills being taught revolve exclusively around Facebook.
Luxury brand Stella McCartney has partnered with consignment site The RealReal to help resell some of its goods, aiming to highlight how consignment can help reduce the amount of raw materials that are required each year from our planet. The partnership will involve programming in Stella McCartney’s U.S. stores, as well as The RealReal’s NYC concept store and website, which are working on a combination of education and referral and incentives for someone to consign. As one of the first luxury brands coming out in support of customers re-selling its goods, McCartney believes that by ensuring that products are used for the entirety of their life cycle, it is possible to begin to slow down the amount of natural resources currently being cultivated and extracted from the planet for the sake of fashion.
WeWork is recruiting for a new startup incubator called Area 51 Paradise Ranch, which will be tested at its Tribeca office space in New York. The invite-only incubator will give startups a modern workspace and mentorship in exchange for a monthly fee—not equity. WeWork describes the incubator as a “fluid yet systematic platform” that will foster “pioneers, inventors, and leaders” as an extension of its WeWork Labs. Area 51 will follow WeWork’s business model: providing space and community for a flat monthly fee.
These are just some of the ways in which large businesses are using their power and influence to help communities beyond their employees and core consumers. For even more trends in cause-based marketing and initiatives, check out our recent report Applying Brand Impact To Improve Public Spaces.
Lead Image: WeWork