Skip to main content

Profit & Purpose: How Social Innovation Is Transforming Business for Good



Profit & Purpose: How Social Innovation Is Transforming Business for Good

Kyle Westaway

ISBN: 978-1-118-70861-3 September 2014 224 Pages

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description.


Why has Warby Parker been able to make such dramatic inroads against the behemoths in the long established eyeglass market? How has Method revolutionized the soap aisle? Amid the cacophony of online retailers, why has Etsy seen such explosive growth, with 2013 annual sales north of $1 billion? 

These companies all have been disruptive because they are operating from a strong social/environmental purpose. They are proving a counterintuitive truth – purpose can drive profits. But it’s not just innovative startups that are getting in on the action. Blue chip companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola and IBM are innovating within their organization to create a positive social and environmental impact globally.

This is not a trend. It’s the future of business.
Based on in-depth interviews with founders, Profit & Purpose profiles a number of the most successful pioneers of this new way forward, telling the stories of thirteen social enterprises ranging from non-profits like Charity:Water and, to for-profits, like Method and Burts Bees; from startups like Etsy and Warby Parker, to multinational corporations with market capitalizations in the hundreds of billions, like Coca-Cola, IBM and Nike. Kyle Westaway digs beneath the public stories of these organizations’ success to reveal how they have harness the power of purpose. 

Taking readers behind the scenes, he shows how these leading social enterprises progressed from concept to scale, how they overcame common pitfalls, and how they managed to find an optimal balance between their mission and their business mandates. Westaway reveals that though there is no magic bullet formula that guarantees success, there are seven core practices that distinguish these market leaders from the pack of contenders. They are:

  •  DISCOVER THROUGH CURIOSITY // Finding the right opportunity catalyzes impact.
  • DESIGN WITH HUMILTY // Prioritizing users creates killer products.
  • BUILD THROUGH HUSTLE // Rallying people creates critical momentum for launch.
  • FUND BY COMMITMENT // Aligning funders around a vision creates true partnerships.
  • CONNECT WITH AUTHENTICITY // Authentic connection builds a movement.
  • SCALE THROUGH COMMUNITY // Focusing on culture ensures smart growth.
  • EVALUATE WITH HONESTY // Honest measurement ensures continual improvement.

Profit & Purpose takes the literature on social entrepreneurship an important step forward, providing the practical tools for turning good intentions into breakaway success.

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Moving Beyond Shareholder Value xvi

Moving Beyond Giving xvii

A Better Way Forward xx

Can I Really Do Well and Do Good? xxii

How Social Enterprises Are Leading the Way xxiv

What Sets These Social Enterprises Apart? xxviii

Behind the Scenes xxx

1 Discover Through Curiosity 1

Identifying the Problem of Eyeglasses 2

Recognizing the Right Problem for You 6

A New Kind of Marketplace 13

Method to Their Madness 15

Inspiration at a Sleepy Roadside Stand 17

Innovation from Within 19

The Bumpy Path to Innovation 21

Africa’s Moonshot 22

Key Takeaways 25

2 Design with Humility 29

Bringing Brilliant Design to the Poor 31

Letting the Users Guide You 34

Discovering You Need to Pivot 36

Don’t Underestimate the Challenges of Distribution 37

You Don’t Need to be an Expert 37

Embracing Challenges 41

User Testing Has Many Benefits 43

Knowing What to Outsource 43

Finding Early Adopters Takes Work 44

Creating Demand 45

Good News Travels Slow 46

Key Takeaways 48

3 Build with Hustle 51

The Intuitive Hustle 52

The Strategic Hustle 57

Best Laid Plans 59

Beating the Burn Rate 62

Simple and Sincere Can Work Wonders 68

Key Takeaways 70

4 Fund Through Commitment 73

Promoting a New Version of Capitalism 74

When Profit Trumps Purpose 75

The Benefits of the Benefit Corporation 76

The True Cost of Free Money 76

Smart Crowdfunding 78

Kickstart 80

Follow-On Funding 83

Going to the Well 86

Embrace 2.0 88

Vision Capital 91

Not Having to Ask for Money Again 94

Investing in the Ecosystem 97

Key Takeaways 98

5 Connect with Authenticity 101

Values Drive the Brand 103

Establishing the Brand Hierarchy 104

Give Them a Delightful Experience 106

Reworking One for One 107

Offer Delightful Experiences 108

Selective Partnerships 109

Hit the Road Jack 110

The Marketing Method to the Madness 111

Don’t Talk at Your Customers, Listen to Them 118

Building a Community 119

Press Coverage Trumps Ads 120

Build Momentum with a Pre-Launch Campaign 121

Key Takeaways 123

6 Scale Through Community 125

Making a Mission Truly Meaningful 126

Keeping on Top of Employee Engagement 128

Wild Growth 131

Keeping the Magic Alive 133

The Limits of Hustle—Tough Decisions 134

Selling Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Selling Out 135

A Road-Side Startup Goes Corporate 136

Dumpster Diving 138

A More Sustainable Supply Chain 139

Learning from the Big Guys 141

Becoming More Innovative 142

Sticking with Strengths 143

The Challenges of a New Location 146

Your Reputation May Precede You, But You Need Community Support 149

Key Takeaways 150

7 Evaluate with Honesty 153

Baking Metrics Into Your Process 153

Considered Design 154

Throw It Over the Wall 157

Measuring Your Footprint 160

Learning to Love Data Mining 161

Hacking Education 162

The Bigger You Are, the More Data You Have 164

Collecting Data Over Time 166

Key Takeaways 168

Conclusion 173

About the Website 177

Index 179

"Whether you’re a scrappy startup or an established Fortune 500 firm, you can reap great rewards by tapping into the power of purpose.  But how do you turn purpose into profit? Kyle Westaway reveals the secrets behind the success of purpose-drive market disruptors like Method, Warby Parker, and Etsy, as well as how giants such as IBM and Nike have harnessed the power through innovative product and brand development. Profit & Purpose  provides an essential roadmap for all those seeking to crush it with purpose."-Gary Vaynerchuck, CEO of VaynerMedia, New York Times bestselling author

"For billions of people who live at the based of the pyramid (BoP) job opportunities and access to life enhancing products and services are top on their list of needs they value most. Social businesses are uniquely positioned to deliver these life-enhancing essentials to those the free market has traditionally left behind. Westaway's thought provoking book should be read by anyone who is interested in learning about how business can be harnessed as a force for good.”-Jordan Kassalow, Founder, Co-Chairman, VisionSpring, on the Forbes Impact 30 List

"Kyle Westaway has the unique ability to distill complex ideas into simple authentic truths, and he's created a masterful gift in Profit & Purpose."-Adam Braun, Founder of Pencils of Promise and New York Times bestselling author