Knowing what’s at stake: how these 5 businesses take care of all their stakeholders

  • Business Model Shifts

Making money is about having wealthy investors, charging customers too much money and cutting costs on production, right? Wrong. Running a business is not even (only) about making money. It’s about creating value by focusing on what’s important. In case of the businesses featured in this post, all its stakeholders are considered equally important: customers, employees, partners, society and investors. What does it take to prioritize long-lasting relationships instead of quick bucks? These five businesses caught our attention, we hope they inspire you too to shift or strengthen your focus to all your stakeholders. 


1 | Southwest Airlines – people are the biggest asset

At Southwest Airlines they have one clear purpose: “Connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.”

The primary goal for any airline is obviously to make aviation profitable, yet that doesn’t go without a struggle most of the years. Southwest has a different story: they were profitable from the beginning by making deliberate and bold strategic choices required for being a low-cost airline. Their secret: having value creation at their core, for all stakeholders. Besides their employee inclusivity policy, they host an annual Diversity Summit where all different kinds of professionals and community leaders get together, brainstorm and share perspectives. At Southwest, they’re all in it together: every employee is equally treated and works with the same mindset: getting people from A to B as quickly, safely and hospitable as possible by working together.  Read more about this businesses’ culture.

2 | Alltrue – Changing the world one box at a time

This business creates socially conscious boxes with discounts, consisting of sustainable, cruelty free, artisan and reusable products. As a customer, this not only gives you the feeling of a planet-friendly purpose, you’ll also be added to Alltrue’s community that stands for good, seeks truth and takes action towards a better world.

In terms of honest production, they provide opportunities for disadvantaged workers, taking them out of a toxic environment, and into a healthy working environment. To make sure the packaging of their products is as sustainable as possible, Alltrue directly partners up with the brands that provide the products. When it comes to the health of the planet, they only work with eco-shipping and the company plants trees in partnership with Trees for the Future. As an employee, you have monthly volunteer days to use for whichever cause they admire. Everything combined, Alltrue has shown to be in fact, all true. Read more in their impact report.

3 | Salesforce – Doing good for the world, improving the state of the world 

Salesforce has proven to be a purpose driven business from the day they started. Anyone who works for this company has multiple days a year to commit to whichever purpose they feel is important. Salesforce gives back multiple ways by implementing their ‘1-1-1- model’, which means they give 1% equity, 1% time and 1% products back to society.  This model is made available for other businesses and over 9,000 organizations have joined the movement to do good. 

Solving the big problems in the world goes hand in hand with business growth, according to founder Marc Benioff. With their non-profit,, they work with dedication on non-profit projects and initiatives. As a customer, Salesforce makes it their job to explain what you as a customer could do to also improve the state of the world. Get inspired by 

4 | Cotopaxi – Changing the supply chain for the better

Cotopaxi was founded by Davis Smith, who grew up in Latin America and was shown the plight of poverty. Becoming successful after obtaining his academic degree, Davis created this business, a combination of love for travel and fighting poverty. With each purchase made, the world’s poorest regions are supported. Cotopaxi stands for the spirit of adventure, optimism, and determination. 

This organization sees their business as a vehicle to make an impact. ‘Do good’ touches every aspect of their company. From their giving guide to company culture and sustainable product design. For instance, 1% of their revenue goes towards addressing poverty and supporting community development. Through grant programs, they promote organizations that are dedicated to improving the human condition. Furthermore, they’re taking ethics into account during every phase of a product’s lifecycle – from its design to its manufacturing and sale. Anyone who touches their products is well-treated, they work with suppliers that uphold a rigorous code of conduct. By empowering the people who make their gear, building lasting relationships and ensuring their products come to life under fair, sustainable working conditions, they’re changing the supply chain for the better. Read more about Gear for Good.

5 | Airbnb – Don’t pack, we’ve got your back 

Airbnb is known for their value proposition, focusing on hospitality and offering the entire experience of the host’s home. Their vision is about feeling like a local and feeling at home by connecting the world and creating human connections.

Feeling at home is something that everyone deserves, according to Airbnb. With their platform, they not only raise awareness for those in need, they also connect them to those able to help. For instance, in case of a local flood or a hurricane, but also during the pandemic, Airbnb found a way to support anyone hosting or staying at an Airbnb. By staying aligned and keeping the conversation going with all stakeholders, Airbnb co-created this fund as a collective initiative, keeping the long-term effects in mind and making sure everyone has a roof over their heads.  Learn more about


These businesses are the convincing proof that an organization can be both profitable and purposeful by involving and caring for each and every stakeholder. Do you want to be a company that is profitable and purposeful long-term? Let’s talk about how you can make the shift to a stakeholder business model

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