Business models grounded on ethics?

Hello -

I’m wondering if anyone has either resources (whitepapers, articles) or background on ethical business models for technology businesses, not selling goods but rather services.

It feels like implementing ethics is like going against the grain and most of the practices are not incredibly profitable. Thus, I'm doing some research on how to best cement ethics and purpose in a way that is financially sustainable (ie. not relying on ads or third-party data selling).

Any exemplary business models out there?

  1. 2

    Hi Jess - great question, and such a good thing to be thinking about. You've already gotten some good suggestions. Here are a few more resources:





    As well, I run a curated weekly newsletter for business owners interested in this sort of thing called In the Good:


    Hope this helps a bit. Please feel free to reach out if you'd like! :)

    1. 1

      Thank you for this. Subscribed to the newsletter 🙌🏽

      1. 1

        Awesome @jssk6 - I hope you find it helpful!

  2. 2

    Maybe @Leo or @aliz7 have thoughts or links to hand for this kind of stuff?

    1. 3

      Hi @jssk6, how about adapting some of the best practices from companies selling goods to services?

      @jamierusso has been publishing interesting companies doing ethical business in his Newsletter

      @dru_riley has also publish a Trends edition about B Corps

      1. 1

        Thanks for the mention @Leo

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        Thanks for the h/t, Leo.

        For social impact, and governance, I would point to the B Corps. Patagonia, Ben and Jerrys, and Toms are interesting case studies.

        For environmental impact, I would check out Patagonia, Allbirds, and New Belgium Brewery.

        I write about all these companies at jamierusso.me/essays, but also happy to chat.

        As far as resources go, the UN SDGs are a great resource: https://sdgs.un.org/goals.

        I may be preaching to the choir, let me know if you want to go a layer deeper.

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          Hey @jamierusso I also run a newsletter about similar issues! Looking forward to checking out your work - love seeing people doing good stuff about these important issues!

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      First off, I want to say thank you for being someone who is willing to go against the grain and prioritize ethics and your values @jssk6!

      I don't have resources or examples off the top of my head, but a) I'll try to do some research and keep an eye out, and b) a good person for you to connect with might be Jess (https://twitter.com/JZakiraWise?s=20), the co-founder of Mesh Communities (https://meshcommunities.us/). Legally, they're structured as a B Corp, which in the United States helps cement their ethics and purpose. They are doing advertising, but I'd imagine that she's a wealth of knowledge on other business models, as well.

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