Doing Well by Doing Good

More than ever before, a company’s success is being measured and sometimes even determined by the social impact it has on the world around them. From local, national and global communities to a company’s own staff, stakeholders are viewing performance through a social lens and wanting organizations to do the same. That shift led to the creation of United Way Winnipeg’s Social Purpose Institute, which we couldn’t be more proud to sponsor.

“This isn’t simply a ‘feel good’ proposition, understanding and acting on a company’s social purpose is now a business imperative,” said Jill Andres, Executive Director for the United Way’s Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council and facilitator with the Social Purpose Institute. “Customers, suppliers, investors, employees – they’re all paying close attention to how companies address social issues which in turn has a direct impact on their bottom line.”

The Social Purpose Institute works with visionary leaders of small and medium-sized businesses by helping them identify their societal reason for being and to incorporate that knowledge throughout the company to drive success in all facets of their business. It starts with the Social Purpose Innovators program that includes a mix of expert and peer-to-peer learning, all designed to bring a company’s social purpose to the forefront of business decisions. Support from Relish and other like-minded sponsors make it possible for businesses to take part in the program who wouldn’t have otherwise have the means to do so.

“Identifying why you do what you do and how your business can play a larger role in the community around you can be a really transformative process,” said Suzanne Braun, Relish’s Founding Principal & Managing Director. “It’s something every business should have the opportunity to do no matter what resources they have available, which is why we felt it was so important to get involved.”

Winnipeg’s first Social Purpose Innovators course launched at the end of October and is a great example of how businesses can come together to support their communities and each other.

“It was amazing to see the initiative come to life and to see how invested all of the participants are in having their businesses play such a positive social role,” said Andres. “It’s really validating for the program and it never would have been possible without sponsors like Relish who have helped us get it off the ground.”

For more information on United Way Winnipeg’s Social Purpose Institute, you can visit them online at