Making money is the aim of the game when you start a business, and your success or failure comes down to whether or not you’re able to turn a profit. However, for many of us, starting a business is about more than just making money. We start our ventures because we want to work on something meaningful and we want to make a difference. Instead of spending our lives earning lots of money for a faceless corporation, we can be the change that we want to see in the world. Certain kinds of businesses really can make a difference, and if this is your aim, here are a few ideas to consider.
It’s easy to assume that you need to be some kind of health professional like a doctor or nurse to run a healthcare business. However, it’s not true- there are lots of options for non-medically trained entrepreneurs to take advantage of. You could sell healthcare items, textbooks for medical students or start a health blog. You could focus on wellness, and get trained in massage, become a personal trainer or study to become a nutritionist or dietician. If you don’t want to go back into education, you could even open an online pharmacy, clinic or dentist (PTS has more information on this) by simply hiring qualified healthcare professionals to do the roles. You would then manage everything from the top. Health businesses genuinely help people, and either nurse them through sickness or help them to achieve wellness. If you want to make a difference to people’s lives, then this is a great industry to get into.
Teaching the next generation or helping adults to upskill can be incredibly rewarding. You could start a tutoring business, get into online education- or open your own school or college if you want a bigger project. You could focus on helping adults that are struggling, for example immigrants wanting to learn English. You could help those that have had poor upbringings and experienced homelessness in learning how to use computers and apply for jobs. There’s often funding for these kinds of businesses from local councils and the government, so there are ways to earn money from your venture. Education is usually the catalyst to success, by providing people with the education and tools they need you can take great pleasure in knowing you’ve helped them to improve their lives.
It’s no secret the damage that we as humans have caused to the environment. A huge hole in the ozone layer, acid rain, whole ‘islands’ of plastic washing up in the ocean and microparticles of the stuff even ending up in the food chain. While each of us need to be responsible for our carbon footprint and the waste we’re creating, a lot of what consumers are able to do comes down to businesses. For example, when single use plastic is the only option for certain products (which often it is), customers will have no choice but to buy this. As businesses we have the opportunity to make a difference. You could create a business that manufactures biodegradable plastics, or only uses materials from renewable resources. You could only buy Fairtrade and generally give back to the environment.