Make social impact a priority

Exploring social impact in family business


Holistically approaching social impact, whether through community activities, philanthropy or sustainable investing, will be key for families in the coming decade.

Sixty-two percent of the survey respondents say the desire to have a social impact will have a moderate to transformative impact on their family enterprises during the 2020s, however, far fewer report being actively engaged in social impact activities. This report lays out three strategies to ensure social impact is a focus of the family:

1. Take a strategic and holistic approach to social impact across the family enterprise

Every aspect of the family’s businesses, philanthropy and lifestyle contribute to their net social impact. Thoughtfully and strategically inventorying how the family already impacts the greater world provides an opportunity to engage family members and align on a shared sense of mission and values.

2. Promote and support ESG in your operating companies

Embedding sustainable practices throughout the family’s operating companies can have a far-reaching impact. We recommend engaging with the Family Business for Sustainable Development Initiative, which is a partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the Family Business Network.

3. Join the impact investing movement

Sustainable investing includes socially responsible, ESG integration, thematic and Impact approaches. Providing capital toward innovative solutions to problems that are important to the family can engage multiple generations and unite the family further.

Your questions

Prioritizing social impact can bring a family together, make a positive difference in the world and enhance the family legacy.

Many family enterprises want to leave a legacy of positively impacting their employees, community and society as a whole.

Integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities into the larger business model.

A social impact strategy is a plan to strategically coordinate the social impact across all family businesses, philanthropic efforts and even the family’s lifestyle.