Consumers, particularly millennials and those belonging to Gen Z, are very discerning when it comes to products they buy and businesses they patronize. Although price levels are still a significant factor for young consumers, dollar figures are no longer the primary consideration that drives sales. That said, if you are interested in opening a startup company in 2021, you should seriously consider establishing an ethical business.
What Is an Ethical Business?
There’s no clear-cut definition of what makes a company ethical. But, many people agree that the following are the common characteristics found in organizations that are considered decent and upright:
- Have high regard for the environment and animal welfare
- Treat employees and customers fairly and with respect
- Adhere strictly to the laws and values of the community, state, and country
- Outsource materials and services that are sustainable and ethically produced
- Run by leaders who have a strong belief in the concept of ethics in business
Best Ethical Business Examples
What are ethical business ideas that are trending in 2021? Here are eight methods you might be interested in trying out:
1. Charitable or Non-profit Business
If you are more interested in helping your community, you can always start a non-profit business. For this organization to thrive, you should determine the mission of your startup first. If the homeless are close to your heart, you can open a charity that provides resources or builds houses for this demographic.
Still, a non-profit company is tough to operate. If you want your endeavors to be successful, you have to find a website that offers a training resource that will guide you on what to do. This way, you can equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to run this business successfully and help more people in the long run.
2. Ethical Fashion
Controversies abound in the fashion industry. There have always been reports of some high-end fashion brands employing children as factory workers. There are also issues like unhealthy working conditions, meager wages, and the use of unsustainable raw materials that can be harmful to the environment.
If you’re planning to open a fashion enterprise, you should consider starting an ethical and sustainable business because this structure is more appealing to consumers. Make sure your company follows environmental rules and offers an up-to-standard working setup. Pay workers with fair wages and allow reasonable working hours. It also helps to use only raw materials unblemished by animal cruelty.
3. Microfinance and Fintech Companies
According to the Gates Foundation, merely 10% of all people in the world can access conventional banking services. If you want to help impoverished communities, particularly in developing and third-world countries, you should consider addressing this financial need.
You can help low-income earners achieve self-sustainability through entrepreneurship if you can open an ethical microfinancing company that provides low-interest loans with easy payment terms. You may also consider packaging the loan with small business ideas that anybody can start quickly. It will help boost your borrowers’ chances of success.
Tech industry startups can also create fintech businesses to help people send, receive, and save money at lower costs via online apps. To be inclusive, ensure that your requirements for opening an account with your company are easy to obtain. Some impoverished communities may not have IDs. They may also not have significant amounts of money to open accounts in banks and other traditional financial companies.
4. Environment-Friendly Construction Supplies
If you have the resources and technology in construction or engineering services, there are three types of businesses that you can open involving eco-friendly construction materials. These are:
- Producing construction and building materials using organic products such as bamboo, grass, water lilies, and abaca that you outsource from farms.
- Recycling things like candy wrappers, plastic bottles, and other non-biodegradable stuff to use as building materials like pavers or hollow blocks.
- Reselling the abovementioned products can be an option if you don’t have the technology and don’t want to produce anything. For example, you can be a retailer of environmentally friendly and ethically produced building materials.
5. Ethical Cosmetic and Beauty Company
The beauty and cosmetics industry has also received criticism for business practices that are harmful to the environment, cruel to animals, and unfair to their workforce. Fortunately, an increasing number of consumers are conscious about the products and services they patronize. To capitalize on this growing demand, you must stick to ethical cosmetics business. Start a cosmetics company or open a beauty salon that doesn’t perform animal testing. Make sure only to utilize materials that have been sustainably sourced.
6. Life Coaching Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant mental, emotional, and financial impact on many people. If you want to earn money and make a positive impact in the post-pandemic world, you might want to offer life coaching services.
If you are cash smart, you could provide financial life coaching to those who have lost their jobs. Having a psychology background makes you the right person to set up a mental or emotional coaching service. Affordable life coaching services can significantly improve the psychological, emotional, and financial well-being of those negatively affected by the pandemic.
7. Remote Teaching or Tutoring
The pandemic has also paved the way for the boom of remote teaching or tutoring services. If you have a bachelor’s degree in education, math, and sciences, or if you’re a retired teacher, you can try this type of business. Many parents are struggling to juggle their time working from home and teaching children their subjects in school.
If you can’t work with kids but have something to teach, like a craft or a hobby, you can impart your skills via remote teaching. People who lost their jobs would want an opportunity to earn. You can help by teaching them how to cook, bake, or make jewelry, among other things. Your students can then use their newfound skills to create products that they can sell online.
8. Tech Restoration and Refurbishing Business
So many things that have been thrown away can still be refurbished and restored. Gadgets, for example. Did you know that you can breathe new life into old mobile phones and laptops with just a few tweaks or by replacing parts like batteries? You can then sell these refurbished gadgets at extremely competitive prices and save the environment at the same time.
There are many other ethical business ideas out there. These eight examples have barely scratched the surface of what you can do. But whatever business idea you choose, make sure that you pick something that will positively impact the environment and your workforce, customers, and community. Remember, they are what ethical businesses are all about.