Purpose in Business Week | November 20-24, 2023

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of Canadian consumers believe companies should show how their products and services make the world better.
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of Canadian consumers believe business needs to place equal weight on society's interests as on business' interests.
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of executives agree that a social purpose helps their company navigate today's turbulent environment.
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Purposeful business outperformed other companies by 206% in the stock market between 2006 and 2016.

Purpose in Business Week is an annual celebration designed to generate national conversation and global awareness of the social purpose business movement. Held in November of each year, social purpose champions from all industries share their commitments to a new business ethic, inspiring a cultural shift towards a purpose-led economy.

Organized by the United Way BC Social Purpose Institute, the first Purpose in Business Week kicked off alongside the 2021 Propelling Purpose Summit, encouraging business leaders to share purpose-related announcements via their social channels, using the hashtag #PurposeinBusinessWeek.

Each year, the support for Purpose in Business Week continues to grow. Individuals and businesses alike are going beyond simple announcements and sharing their social purpose journeys – their successes, challenges, pitfalls, and learnings. They’re actively adopting and implementing social purpose as a decision lens and evolving their business models to support an economy that pursues long-term well-being for all. They’re inviting the world to join them in building business, regulatory, and financial systems that foster an equitable, flourishing, and resilient future.

This year, we are thrilled to host two virtual events featuring incredible business leaders that are championing the adoption of social purpose to help create a more sustainable and resilient future.

2023 Events

Purpose in Business Week Kick-off Event with Dr. Victoria Hurth

To kick-off the 3rd annual Purpose in Business Week, we’re thrilled to host a free one-hour webinar featuring Dr. Victoria Hurth – an influential and independent pracademic that supports organizations and their leadership to become driving forces for long-term well-being for all (sustainability). This event will provide the audience with a positive outlook for our future and draw out key elements that are required for businesses to take the leap to a social purpose model. Drawing attention to the PAS: 808 Report, Purpose-Driven Organizations: Worldviews, Principles and Behaviors.

About Dr. Victoria Hurth

Victoria is an Independent Pracademic and Fellow of University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). She has spent almost 30 years spanning both academia and companies to answer the question: How can we help organizations make decisions that align with long-term wellbeing for all (sustainability) rather than undermine this pinnacle shared goal? Her work with global executives focuses on the central role of governance – along with purpose, marketing, leadership and culture. Among other achievements Victoria co-led the 5 year development of the first global ISO standard in Governance of Organizations (ISO 37000:2021), was Technical Author for the first national standard in Purpose-Driven Organizations (PAS 808:2022) and advised the UN on the development of a methodology for SDG 12.6.1 (sustainability reporting).

When: November 20, 2023 | 10am – 11am (PST)


Purposeful Business: Rapid-Fire Insights from Social Purpose Leaders

In this rapid-fire session, six panelists will give a short presentation sharing their social purpose journey, and share insights into “why” they chose to adopt social purpose and the benefits they’re seeing throughout their business. Attendees will have time to engage, learn, and ask questions about each leader’s process and experience, and ideate on ways their social purpose can apply to their business.

Featured Panelists:

When: November 23, 2023 | 10:30am – 12pm (PST)


Profile Your Commitment – Purpose in Business Week Toolkit

Join us November 20-24 in celebrating social purpose in business by sharing your journey and using the hashtag #PurposeinBusinessWeek on your social channels. Whether your company already has a social purpose or is on the path to identifying it, we invite you to help bring social purpose to the mainstream by declaring your organization’s commitment to the purpose economy, or simply supporting the initiative.

Examples can include: your social purpose journey and statement, a new Purpose initiative, the impact your social purpose has had since its adoption, white paper/research release on some aspect of purpose, a new commitment, policy, or activity, new social purpose partnership, or simply a declaration of support for Social Purpose in Business.

Tag us in your posts throughout the week (see below), and we will do our best to share amongst our community! Stay connected by signing up for our monthly newsletter, and if you have a particular announcement that you feel our team could support further, feel free to connect with us directly at engage@socialpurpose.ca.

Social Media Hashtags & Handles

  • #PurposeinBusinessWeek #SocialPurpose #PurposeEconomy
  • @United Way BC Social Purpose Institute @United Way British Columbia

Social Media Sample Texts

As we face converging social and environmental challenges, communities around the world are looking to businesses to spark positive change. Social purpose businesses are critical to addressing these issues to help put our economies on a more sustainable path.

#PurposeinBusinessWeek #SocialPurpose #PurposeEconomy @United Way BC Social Purpose Institute @United Way British Columbia


<insert your announcement here> follow with:

#PurposeinBusinessWeek #SocialPurpose #PurposeEconomy @United Way BC Social Purpose Institute @United Way British Columbia

The Business Sector’s Role in Building a Better World

A “social purpose business” is an business whose enduring reason for being is to create a better world. It defines, and openly commits, to a compelling north star – a social purpose – that benefits the well-being of both people and planet. Companies with a social purpose can become engines for good by the very act of conducting business. Their growth is a positive force in society. As the social purpose company prospers, its stakeholders and the communities in which it operates prosper too.

When the United Nations launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – an ambitious set of goals aimed to banish many social challenges by 2030, it communicated a vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s leaders and the people. Without the private sector’s commitment, investment, and influence, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be impossible. Companies from all over the world need to step up and play a major role in addressing the challenges, and this is where social purpose business comes in.

As a social purpose company, we’re harnessing all our enterprise capabilities, talents, and resources to build better futures together. We believe social purpose is the business model the world needs to tackle the complex, systemic issues we face today. We are excited to support efforts to grow the purpose economy in Canada.” – Maureen Young, Vice President of Social Purpose at Coast Capital.

Purpose in Business Week builds on the momentum of this growing field and draws attention to the organizations leading the way. It calls for creative collaborations that are unbound by geographic location, sparks dialogue from industries that would otherwise never connect, and draws an eagerness to co-create solutions for sustainable economic growth in communities no matter the size. We see reputable research and insights emerge supporting the business case for purpose and multi-level government support that believes a social purpose economy is key to building sustainable prosperity.