Investors say they are seeking out companies that have a strong social mission alongside core business needs — largely because they believe more socially active companies will thrive. “If you take on a mission and it’s not successful, you will be hurt — it just will be hurt in a market of giants like Walmart and Amazon and so forth,” said Michael LaCour, the director of the UC Berkeley Haas Center for Business and Society. “But we’re finding that good mission companies are able to both drive really attractive profits and have strong social outcomes.”

But just as many do not see this as a two-edged sword — and recognize that companies’ social impact will be diluted if this is downplayed — that does not mean it is wholly compatible with the corporate world. Companies’ socially minded investors have long desired to invest in businesses that do so much more than the typical charity—for some, they want these businesses to run like nonprofits. This is because their social missions often coincide with profitability.

Read the full story at The Atlantic.


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