We’re launching a place on our site where we can meet Washington’s Social Purpose Corporations up close and personal, learn about their declared social purpose and explore how purposeful values make good business sense.
We’re starting off with our friends at Community Sourced Capital, SPC one of Washington’s earliest SPCs. Dive in and learn more about how this great local business helps other business thrive, maybe right in your own back yard.
“Community Sourced Capital uses sustainable finance solutions to help small business and local economies thrive.”
Community Sourced Capital, SPC, based in Seattle, aims to finance the future of local economies by designing and deploying community-supported funding mechanisms for sustainable small businesses. Through creating financial systems that are good for businesses and their communities, they are making it possible for every citizen to participate in the process. Co-founders and directors, Casey Dilloway and Rachel Maxwell, tell why their team chose to incorporate as a Social Purpose Corporation and how they use their purpose to build a strong business.
We chose to become an SPC since we had a business with a real social purpose and there was a newly formed entity made just for us! So why wouldn’t we be a Social Purpose Corporation? We just did what felt natural. We also knew that we would have investors eventually, so picking a structure that would legally preserve our purpose was a big reason to go SPC.
Our social purpose is to help small businesses and local economies thrive. It was easy to come up with this. It’s not that fancy, but it’s the prize we keep our eyes on every day. In a strict marketing manner, simply becoming an SPC doesn’t do much. But telling people about it and talking about why we chose to be an SPC, and then telling people what our social purpose is… well that’s a pretty good way to keep ourselves accountable to fulfilling our social purpose and drive our business forward! We know that our customers want our product for more reasons than just what it does for them. It stands for something bigger than that. Embedding that into our structure ensures that we achieve our business goals.
We plan put out reports that show how we are achieving our social purpose, because we want people to hold us accountable to our purpose. We would like to have shareholders that hold us accountable as well. Co-creating the output of our work with stakeholders will make sure we are measuring the right things. Our business has some pretty definable metrics like loans created and lenders involved and jobs created. We feel like we have a ton to work with here because we’re working with something as tangible as money. The ripple effect of the money, on the other hand, is a trickier one to figure out. We don’t have that one nailed yet.
We’re making local finance more than just something to talk about. We hope to make the importance of local businesses top of mind for the average consumer, and we hope more people are thinking about sustainable finance when it comes to their own money as well. We want to have thriving local economies where dollars flowing throughout the community is a demonstration of how well our systems work. And we hope to grow our impact: we have lenders from around the country.
Our primary focus is clarity over goals. If we aren’t clear about our goals and what we’re trying to do, then we could end up just another lender. We have to constantly infuse passion and intention into everything we do. Then we won’t miss the mark on meeting our social purpose.
We want the SPC community to work together to make this form of doing business more than being seen as a non-profit-turned-for-profit. It’s more than that. We can raise the bar for all businesses, no matter their corporate status. That’s how our economy—all of us together—will thrive.