Today the millennial generation, which comprises close to 90M people in NA, as well as many baby boomers, is demanding a change in the manner in which they interact with the world around them. The money they spend has to have an added benefit to their surroundings and exemplify a set of core values, which respect the vision of the world they wish to live in and help mold. There is a movement to return to the experience of community, both physical, and virtual, where shared values will be the common bond.
Small independent local businesses (98% of all North American business) have been the foundation on which their communities were built. Today these small businesses are struggling. Developers, big box and major retailers, volatile and compressed margins, unstable supply chains, lack of access to capital, lack of access to analytics and competitive on-line exponential growth being some of the main culprits.
In our evolving economy there is a growing danger within many of the large corporations, their consumer brands are under attack from the new economy. Many with their too big to fail mentality have little vision or ability to change in a world where change occurs in mille seconds. The constant need for top line growth often at the expense of human capital has increased the distance between themselves and the consumers they so desperately want to court.
In this new evolving economy consumers will demand to understand and measure how their expenditure will impact their lives and the lives of their neighbors. These changes have created many challenges. Great opportunity comes from great challenge. The opportunities of tomorrow will appear within the historical backbone of our North American communities; small business.
The implacable need for a sense of community is growing. Moreover the physical sense of community becomes even more important. From our food supply to cafes and restaurants, as well as artisanal retailers, people need the experience of each other's lives. People's need to buy local, support local, identify local and be recognized by local is a role that large corporations find hard to fill. They can create sub-brands; however, their model of centralized management often fails to connect and create loyalty amongst consumers. Trust in our expenditures will become a critical component of the buying decision. As more and more people struggle to find meaning in their everyday lives, their own physical and virtual communities are filling their need for common values.
With all these challenges it becomes clear that there is a great opportunity to help revive the impact that small business can make in our lives. A model which helps create an eco-system that empowers local business to; flourish, regain and retain their competitiveness, help supply innovative product and sustainable and robust margins as well as create shared value by supporting local initiatives, will be delivering the recipe for all future business. What truly cements the consumer's relationship with the small business is their shared mutual investment in the community.
The Department of Good is a for-profit community focused retail, ecommerce and brick and mortar business whose purpose if to "Leverage what we do every day for good".
DoG links small independent retail, community organizations, innovative products, local consumers and on-line consumers and creates shared value at multiple points along the supply chain.
It is time to take a nostalgic leap into the future; to embrace a time when small independent business was thriving, as did communities it derived great benefit from.
We are born in Venice Beach California, an historic example of community. We have brought together many years of experience in the, for profit and non-profit world. Our model respects the entrepreneurial spirit. We recognize that within every capitalist with a heart there is the deep understanding that creating shared value for those around us is not an obligation it is a profound privilege.