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Social Impact Success Story: Far West Capital

In previous posts, we’ve written about the high-level benefits a social impact strategy can deliver to your business. However, sometimes it is better to provide a real example of a business that launched a social impact initiative to further their core mission, improve their branding efforts, activate stakeholders and create a more engaging environment for their employees.

In 2014-2015, Digital Union worked with Far West Capital to develop and launch a social impact platform, Far Reaching, to further the brand’s core purpose of unleashing potential in entrepreneurs.

At their business core, Far West Capital helps high-growth entrepreneurs unleash their potential through financing and business solutions that help elevate and grow their personal and professional goals. Yet, the bottom line for Far West Capital also meant building a better world at the same time. In 2014, Far West Capital developed their Far Reaching social impact program to demonstrate their commitment to fusing profit + purpose. Far Reaching emphasized social good initiatives that accomplished the goal of galvanizing the entrepreneurial hero.

The first initiative of Far Reaching was a partnership with Grameen America, through which Far West fostered entrepreneurial heroes by activating over $154,000 through stakeholder support to galvanize microcredit loans for low-income women seeking to achieve their dreams of owning a business.

Launched in 2015, tScreen Shot 2015-09-16 at 12.38.44 PMhe second initiative of Far Reaching was The Far Reaching Referral Campaign, in which successful referrals to Far West are rewarded with $1,500 contributions to social sector causes of the referral’s choosing. Through this program, the transactional nature of referrals was turned into a relational process with more meaning.

Far West Capital CEO, Cole Harmonson, told us how the Far Reaching has helped fuse the company’s core mission with a social mission:

“It is a great way to put language around our for-profit focus and engage with stakeholders from a different perspective. It helps people see the bigger story of what you do to help others and as importantly why you do it. These actions ultimately help us achieve our vision in several ways and help others along the way. I believe this serves as one small example of putting ‘the whole’ in the lexicon and practice of business that makes a big difference. It was important to tether our core company work to unleash potential in entrepreneurs as we fund their businesses to achieve business goals and growth. Our Far Reaching social mission became to galvanize as many entrepreneurial success stories as possible so that we can transform lives and the world through the power in people.”

Not only has Far Reaching been a success in furthering the Far West Capital’s core purpose, but their social impact initiatives have had a tremendous effect on employee engagement. As Cole explained:

“From a culture perspective, it is a great way to align your organization around its true purpose. The team can be very proud of what they do, when one person makes a positive difference in the lives of others, the ripple effects are huge.”

Finally, Far Reaching also served to activate stakeholders such as existing referral partners:

“Far Reaching has put us in another light with our referral partners, showing by example how together we can amplify the good of what each party is passionate about. This has been a great way for us to solidify coexisting relationships and build new ones.”

Far West provides several of the tangible ways a social impact strategy can benefit a business. In weeks to come, we’ll explore the ways that social impact initiatives can improve your company’s brand, relationships with partners, and the community at large.

To learn more about the successes of businesses that have collaborated on their social impact efforts with us, have a look at our Case Studies page!

Maggie & Hector

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