Trading for Good is a digital service that inspires and supports small businesses to be more socially responsible by celebrating the good work they do in their communities.
Designed much like a social media platform, the website provides companies with their own profile page showcasing all their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activites.
Businesses can be accredited as ‘trading for good’ in five ways: supporting charities and communities, helping young people into work, improving their impact on the environment, working better with suppliers and making life better for employees.
In this way, Trading for Good aims to bring CSR to smaller businesses in a way that’s accessible, proportionate and meaningful. The organisation tracks small business giving across these five dimensions, publicising that data and aggregating it for different audiences.
Trading for Good helps promote its members through free PR, local press coverage and social networks, while consumers can use the site to find good companies to work with.
Launched in 2011 by Kay Allen OBE, Trading for Good has a vision to inspire half a million small businesses to be more socially responsible over the next five years.
With support from the Innovation in Giving Fund and Santander, Trading For Good has moved from a beta to a fully functioning site. It has created a brand and developed both a front and back end and customer relationship management (CRM) system.
By March 2014, Trading for Good members had raised more than £180k for good causes, completed more than 29,000 hours of pro bono work and donated more than £83,000 to charity.
Its first corporate partner, Fujitsu, provided access to its 700 small business suppliers to develop the first ‘Supply Chain Social Value Report’. Additional rollout (alongside corporate customer acquisition) is due to commence in Salford, Newcastle and Westminster to provide reports to local government that assess their performance against the Social Value Act.
Trading for Good has partnerships with all the major small business networks and federations, who are lined up to support rollout.
Award and follow-on funding
Trading for Good was awarded £150,000 in the second round of the Innovation in Giving Fund to help fund the technical development of the platform, along with £150,000 from Santander.
Trading for Good was later awarded an additional £120,000 to support operations, product refinement and business development activities.
The organisation also received startup funding from Visa and BIS.