What defines a social impact business?

Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
24 1 35

Some of you might be wondering, “What defines a social impact business?” There isn’t a widely accepted definition, so we at Shopify have decided to define it broadly as the following:


  • Opportunity Employment: organizations that employ people who have significant barriers to mainstream employment.
  • Transformative Products or Services: organizations that create social or environmental impact through innovative products and services.
  • Give Back: organizations that contribute a portion of their profits to nonprofits that address unmet needs.

Does the definition resonate with you? How does your business fit within this definition? Or can your business make changes to fall within how we define a Social Impact Business? We always love to hear from our community!


Want to read a bit more about social entrepreneurship, you can read this Shopify blog post

Not sure where to start? Check out the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Many businesses are striving towards one or many of these goals.

Shopify Partner
7 0 15

For anyone in Chicago, the B Corp community is hosting an event around this topic re: United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals


Check it out → https://www.eventbrite.com/e/integrate-the-un-sustainable-development-goals-with-your-organization-t...

8 0 29

Thanks for sharing, Shopify!


100% agree re: what has been shared so far - I'd also like to add that it's critical for businesses to start thinking about measuring and sharing out their impact in real-time to increase transparency and donor confidence. Companies like ZOX are doing this really well (they've already raised $255K to build clean water wells in Africa!).