All business activities make impact – better make it a positive one

by Eetu Helminen, Jan 11th 2024

Eetu Helminen

Eetu Helminen

We just make toothpicks, we don’t create an impact. Well, not quite so. The impact of a toothpick is multifold. In its essence it helps people clean their teeth and keep them healthy. To stay healthy in general. Secondly it has an impact on the planet by using wood or in some cases plastics. Thirdly it has a financial impact on the workers and so on and so on.

So, please, don’t tell me your business doesn’t have an impact. It does. It always has multiple impacts. Actually, you could argue a business that doesn’t have impact, will not stay in business. Even a useless plastic trinket fulfills a psychological need of the buyer and therefore makes them happy at least for a moment. Therefore it has an impact on the customer and user.

This is why I say: All businesses make an impact – better make it a positive one.

The COP28 raised this issue to the fore again. We need to make a positive impact. Not just fullfil the need of the customer, but also understand that we need to make our products, services and solutions sustainable, or even better regenerative.

When we understand the impact our solution is making – what need it fulfils – and what other impacts it has, we can truly grow a sustainable business. In both meanings of the word. Sustainable as in continuous and prosperous business and sustainable in terms of the globe and people. This is actually something that one of our customers is doing in their new accelerator – Baltic Impact Accelerator (BIA). The applications are now open for the first cohort.

The first thing is to understand the impacts your business has. This is not easy and you can probably never have the complete picture of every impact. This shouldn’t stop the businesses from turning to positive impacts on the issues they know about. It is better to do something than to wait for the perfect picture.

While I was working in the Helsinki Metropolitan Smart and Clean Foundation we approached this problem of identifying the core impacts in a process called Hack the City. The first step was trying to identify the actual need of a service or solution. That was done by simply taking it out of the equation and then discussing who would be affected and how. Through this we were able to find the actual need, the impact the service or solution had in the people’s lives. After this, it was easier to build new – sustainable solutions – to fulfill that need, to create the same impact.

At Solved we say we are an impact company. We do understand that the network works to create solutions for a more sustainable world. We are now looking to quantify our impact better, this is why, we at Solved, will take part in the Impact Business Model programme next spring. To understand better our, and our network’s, impact. Please join us on this journey.

Our experts can help you identify and define your impact and to make your businesses impact a positive one. This needs cooperation, which our network of 30 000+ experts can foster. Please join us.