Investors are not about to loosen their grip on socially conscious marketplaces anytime soon. As consumers become more attuned to their own carbon footprints, it has cast marketplaces advocating social consciousness in the limelight. The crusade for anything fair-trade and eco-friendly has also seen eager financial backers banking their bets on socially focused marketplaces.
Beyond just commercial purposes, the motivation behind a marketplace can very well be a social cause. More marketplaces than before are borne out of a desire to benefit the society at large, as opposed to making big bucks. Here, we look into 3 ways how ethical and socially responsible philosophies behind these game-changing marketplaces are making a social impact in our daily lives.
Paying it forward
As you pull dollar bills out from your wallet, the cashier at the counter notifies you that your cup of latte has already been paid for by the customer before you. You are pleased as punch and more than happy to foot the bill for the next customer as a way of giving thanks.
The brains behind ShopAffect seem to have drawn inspiration from the very scenario I had just painted. True to the name of its marketplace, it pays it forward on behalf of the consumer each time a purchase goes through. Apart from letting the socially-conscious business profits from the transaction, an act as simple as buying a slogan tee-shirt can directly impact somebody else’s life.
ShopAffect donates 10% of the sales for every purchase on the marketplace to a preferred cause of yours. Take your pick at the multitude of causes on the marketplace, including hunger, healthcare, education. It is heartwarming to see a platform empowering socially-conscious business owners to make a living, as well as helping consumers and merchants alike, to do their part for the society at large.
A marketplace in need is a savior indeed
There is always strength in numbers. Without marketplaces aggregating social enterprise, standalone social enterprises would soon bite the dust as they struggle to find audience for their products.
Serving as a one-stop shop for socially-conscious shoppers and owners alike, Good Spender offers a marketplace ideal for social enterprises to manage their digital shopfronts without expending too much of their time. It allows merchants, who are also passionate advocates for sustainable and ethical living, to stand for numerous great and noble social causes as they make a living.
When the odds are stacked against your business, more so in developing countries, The Foundry Marketplace could be the answer to the prayers of social enterprise owners in these regions. While Michelle Pride’s first marketplace, Trading Hope, guaranteed the sales of budding social enterprises in the less developed part of the world by buying their products and reselling them, The Foundry aims to be inclusive.
The Foundry is a marketplace that offers not just a platform for enterprises to be on but to manage their digital storefronts, alongside an avenue to obtain consulting and logistical services. When a wide range of enterprises come together in one marketplace, it is bound to attract more buyers for these socially-responsible businesses. These place social enterprises in a better position than before to see their businesses flourish and go on to elicit a change in the world.
Ignite an explosive spark for change
As more of such marketplaces bubble to the surface, regardless of whichever vertical market they cater to, they all converge at their end goal. It is to pave the way for a better tomorrow in whichever community that stands to benefit from the mission statement of that particular marketplace.
This phenomenon also brings to the forefront of our attention that mass consumerism is not sustainable in the long haul. People are realising that they a social responsibility for sustainable living; that is, if we want to see future generations continue enjoying the finite resources we have now.
As we become more mindful of the community and environment we reside in, fair-trade and sustainable products would no longer be earmarked for premium living. The time has come for social enterprises to not only use marketplaces as a chance to make ends meet alongside supporting their causes, but also to bring to awareness regarding pressing social and environmental issues that deserve more than a gander or two.