Conscious Capital in Startups Meaning
Conscious capital (also called stakeholder capital or stakeholder capitalism) in startups is a profit-making philosophy that emphasizes social and environmental impact. While conscious capital still seeks to turn a financial profit, it adopts a broader view of value creation than traditional capital. It pursues shareholder profit while simultaneously generating value for communities, suppliers, customers, employees. governments and the environment.
The rationale is that the business is not accountable to shareholders alone but society as a whole. The company incorporates the needs and concerns of this broad group of stakeholders into everyday decision making.
Conscious capital is guided by four principles:
- Higher purpose — Profit is a means to a higher purpose and not an end of itself.
- Stakeholder orientation — Working to serve the best interests of a broad set of stakeholders that goes beyond shareholders.
- Conscious leadership — Leaders set the tone and every team member applies the principles of conscious capital at their level.
- Conscious culture — Fair, inclusive and transparent work culture that is aligned with the business’ higher purpose.
Outcomes of conscious capital in startups include:
- Nurturing leaders that are driven by ethics.
- Fostering a workplace where employees are fulfilled, passionate and happy.
- Cultivating a culture that is authentic and accepting.
- Creating communities bustling with opportunity.
- Building a healthy, flourishing earth.
- Greater customer trust and loyalty.
To execute the conscious capital model, startups should:
- Identify the company’s higher societal and/or environmental purpose beyond the quest for profit.
- Define values that align with the purpose. The values should motivate decisions made and actions taken by the business.
- Make trust, transparency, honesty and integrity a company-wide habit.
- Tweak business processes and procedures to reflect the new paradigm.