The small businesses that placed charity high on the priorities list

Here, we speak to three companies about their commitment to giving back to local communities and charities.

Gavin Willis, managing director of SEO agency Search Seven, says he always intended his company to be a vehicle to make a difference, and for the Brighton-based company charity is an important part.

His business promises to contribute up to 7 per cent of profits to charities and local community projects each year, amounting to £15,000 so far.

The company has held charity sports events in aid of the Trevor Mann Baby Unit based at Royal Sussex Hospital and, in 2016, it hosted a digital marketing workshop for which the company had more than 70 charities attend its ‘Spiegeltent’ on Brighton beach, providing them with insight into all things digital marketing related.

Willis says that everyone who works at Search Seven has bought into the charitable philosophy, and that the team are all motivated to do well as the better it performs as a business, the more it can give back.

‘This is a fantastic catalyst to why we have seen success in the form of profit growth year on year,’ Willis says.

Dehumidifier company Meaco is another that counts itself as a socially aware business, sponsoring local Guildford sports including the Team GB kayaker Rachel Cawthorn who recently competed at the Rio Olympics. The firm is also heavily involved in supporting local mini and youth rugby and is a sponsor of the London Welsh club.

Supporting the local community

Meaco director Chris Michael believes that local communities should be supported, and the company does that in two ways. ‘Firstly we support local sport, whether that be by sponsoring a local athlete who competes for the nation in the Olympics, or by helping youth rugby.

‘From a commercial perspective we are delighted to be assisting the work of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to assist its elephant conservation work in Africa by giving a donation for each sale of our flagship product, the Zambezi dehumidifier.’

Manufacturing and design company Superior Surfaces sends its team to Africa for a week each year to build permanent homes and schools, with each individual having to raise £3,000 for the charity Mellon Educate before they are eligible to go.

The ‘Building Blitz’ happens for a week in November every year and so far 25,000 houses have been built as part of the wider scheme, providing 125,000 Africans with new homes.

Managing director of Superior Surfaces Sean Dennis first went to South Africa in 2007. ‘The reason I started working with the charity was because, in 2006, my best friend committed suicide, and it was something he was going to do. So I went in memory of him, and have stayed active with the charity ever since,’ he says.

Following his first ‘Building Blitz’ in 2007, Dennis was moved by the impact the charity was having on some of the poorest children on the planet. ‘Experiencing first-hand what real poverty is like, is something that you can never forget, and it changed my life forever. The Building Blitz allows a way in which you can actively change the world, by providing opportunity to children with nothing.’

Further reading on business management

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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