Most entrepreneurs say that they’ll start contributing to the community once their company becomes successful. But, in waiting for their business to become profitable, they end up doing nothing. Rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity, it’s better to start integrating simple acts of giving into your business now.
In this episode, Masami Sato talks about the lessons she learned from backpacking across Asia. She explains how her journey inspired her to help small businesses become a change driver in the community. Masami also shares the humble beginnings of B1G1 and the struggles her enterprise faced during the first few years. Finally, she shares how your business can be a part of their movement.
If you want to grow a purpose-driven business with sustainable profit, then this episode is for you!
As a special gift for tuning it, get your free 90-Day Financial Strategic Planning with Christina! Set up a time here or connect on LinkedIn!
Here are three reasons why you should continue reading:
Discover how small businesses can give back to communities
Understand the system of a social enterprise
Learn how B1G1 can help with your business’s cause
Visit Christina Sjahli's website for more insights on designing an ownership structure that aligns with your company vision, and check out the Her CEO Journey™ podcast series!
Create an impact through the B1G1 platform!
[7:43] Masami’s Journey on B1G1
Masami started a food business 20 years ago to bring people together and give them nourishing meals.
She shares that preparing food helped her connect with others while backpacking in her youth, even though she didn't know the local language.
Driven to do something against rampant poverty, she made it her business’s mission to make a difference.
After five years, she relocated to New Zealand and founded a business that donates one meal for every product sold.
“You build a sustainable impact by starting with the tiniest impact and one business activity. As our business grows, we can add more tiny impacts into more business activities.”
[09:39] Lessons From Backpacking to Asia
Masami felt close to India during her trip to Asia.
She met an organization that encourages children to go back to school by providing free meals.
Having a successful company is not needed to start helping others. It’s possible to sponsor a meal for only 25 cents.
[11:36] How the Buy-One-Give-One Model Came to Be
Masami’s company was shortlisted during a business plan competition.
Someone compared her company’s advocacy to the buy-one-give-one business model. Masami thought it was a good idea.
“What if what matters is really the impact - not the dollar amount on profit, or the dollar amount given?”
There’s a deep sense of care among business people to make a difference.
“People in business have a sense of purpose. They wanted to make a difference in their own unique way.”
Entrepreneurs want to do something that matters. Although, some might feel they’re still unprepared.
[15:26] Reason for Establishing B1G1 at Singapore
Masami envisions B1G1 as a global initiative. If they establish the business in Australia, the enterprise would just be an Australian initiative.
B1G1 aims to work with any enterprise around the world. As such, they chose to settle in Singapore.
The Singaporean government wanted to be a giving nation. It is a small country, yet it’s located strategically for business.
[17:47] The Beginning of B1G1
B1G1 aims to add value to businesses by helping them make a difference.
“Imagine a world where everything businesses do makes a difference, and you can be part of this movement.”
The company wanted to be a social enterprise. They made sure that whatever a company gives is used efficiently.
Unlike fundraisers that get a cut from donations, B1G1 gives 100% of the contribution to their beneficiaries.
The enterprise came up with a membership model to maintain financial stability.
Today, B1G1 has more than 500 projects that help businesses make an impact around the world. Listen to the full podcast to know more about how to become a member!
[22:23] Struggles During the First Year
Gathering support and encouraging small businesses to get on board with the project was challenging.
People weren’t looking out for B1G1’s services because small businesses weren’t expected to engage in philanthropic deeds.
Joining business networking events increased B1G1’s publicity.
“When we have a meaningful meeting and great conversation, we get to do more giving and create more impact.”
Understanding the system of charity organizations was also a challenge.
Masami needed to find organizations that align with the model and could give financial accountability.
[27:00] Projects Under B1G1
The enterprise was initially thought to be suited for small organizations instead of large ones.
As B1G1 grew, they figured out that medium-sized charity organizations were the best fit for them. The idea that medium-sized organizations have a solid track record in a specific niche confirms this.
[30:06] Linking Operations to the Project
B1G1 intends to create a positive impact through the good things that happen in the business.
Little things such as sending out emails and joining meets make an impact.
“The most important thing is to...do just this one thing and start now.”
Any business can become a change driver in the community. Contributions don’t have to be given through monetary means. Find ways on how your enterprise can create a positive impact by tuning in to the full episode!
“Any business can actually find the most useful and meaningful way to add a positive impact in their organization. It's not necessarily always financially driven.”
Small businesses should focus on one project that resonates with them. Trying too many things can be overwhelming.
[34:33] Spirit of Giving Within B1G1 Members
B1G1 team members demonstrate the giving spirit by thinking about how they could help others and create more impact.
“All the team members in our enterprise demonstrate this giving spirit by thinking about how we could do more giving and create more impact.”
A small budget is set aside for future giving projects.
For Masami, she uses her giving budget for every invoice paid on time.
“If you think about it, with $1 [or] 50 cents, you can still create those impacts for others. And it doesn't have to be $100 or $200.”
She spreads the giving spirit to other businesses to work together to make a more significant difference.
“Imagine creating impact and appreciating every business activity and doing it [with] respect, care, joy, and everything, and spreading that giving spirit to other business people so that we can unite in the make a greater impact.”
Masami Sato is the founder and CEO of B1G1, a global-giving initiative, and social enterprise. The organization was born out of her vision to help businesses become a change driver in the community. After more than a decade of hard work, Masami’s simple idea has now become a global movement. To date, B1G1 has created more than 230 million giving impacts!
Apart from being an inspiring entrepreneur, Masami is also a bestselling author. She has authored four books, namely: Giving Business; Better Business, Better Life, Better World; Legacy: The Sustainable Development Goals in Action; and One: Sharing the Joy of Giving.
Masami is also a frequent speaker and mentor at international events, podcasts, and interviews.
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