High Five!

Social responsibility is everybody’s business

Marie-Soleil Thellen is the owner of 4 Éléments, a retail store which opened its doors in May 2010. Located on Saint-Denis Street in Montreal, 4 Éléments offers a wide range of locally-produced and environmentally-friendly fashion accessories, beauty products and home décor items. “I am offering a new concept that promotes an environmentally-friendly lifestyle in a way that favours sustainability, buying locally and equity,” she says.

For Marie-Soleil, social responsibility is not only a priority but also one of her key missions. She offers this advice to entrepreneurs that want to become more socially responsible.

  • Give priority to local start-ups or small providers. Buying locally will reduce distance that your products travel, thus minimizing their environmental impact. Furthermore, you will save a lot of time.
  • Inform your customers that buying from independent local businesses rather than from superstores results in a greater reinvestment in their own community. Buying locally creates new employment, supports local infrastructure and non-profit organizations, and more. Don’t underestimate support that customers will show to independent businesses.
  • Adopt and maintain a “responsible” image. This could become a great marketing tool and set you apart from your competitors.

There are lots of online resources including articles, blogs and websites dedicated specifically to entrepreneurs wanting to make their businesses more socially responsible.

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