Entrepreneurs and their extended impact through philanthropy

Entrepreneurs are famous for their drive, ambition and risk-taking mindset. What is often overlooked is their commitment to philanthropy. According to a 2019 report by Fidelity Charitable, entrepreneurs are as much as 50 percent more likely to give to charity than their non-entrepreneur peers. You may be asking, “What motivates entrepreneurs to give? How do they approach philanthropy in a way that co-exists with their business mindset? What strategies do entrepreneurs use to achieve successful philanthropic outcomes?”

Research shows that philanthropy is a part of the DNA of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are mission-focused, hands-on, scrappy and results-oriented. Taking advantage of those skills leads to success.

Additionally, entrepreneurs experience personal fulfillment by expanding their impact to a broader community. Their philanthropy philosophy differs from their non-entrepreneur peers. They are more personally involved, sustainably focused and more deliberate in their approach to achieving philanthropic goals.

Successful entrepreneurs know that a commitment to philanthropy and social benefit is increasingly important for all organizations. Being socially responsible is essential for attracting and retaining talent and customers in today’s climate. Ignoring critical environmental and social issues is risky. Stakeholders are increasingly interested in how an organization contributes positively to society.

There are various ways to engage in philanthropy. They range from informal methods such as donating time and writing personal checks to the more formal establishment of private foundations. Each approach has its own rules of engagement and is not mutually exclusive.

My traditional practice of writing personal checks and donating goods and services from my businesses to philanthropies has changed over the years. I wanted to create a more significant impact with my philanthropic footprint. And I realized that creating a more substantial effect requires more advanced organization, structure, and time.

In 2021, my wife, Sufia, and I established the Junaid Family Foundation (JFF) to support our more ambitious philanthropic goals. Our foundation focuses on vulnerable populations, namely women and children. We invest in programs that support greater access to health care, education, gender equality and civic engagement. We want to be a part of sustainable change.

Through our foundation, we participate in programs that exceed the scope of what we can accomplish with a less structured format. With that in mind, our foundation operates under a strategic framework that tackles significant problems, such as women’s maternal health in developing countries.

For instance, this year, JFF imported over 1 million bottles of comprehensive prenatal vitamins (UNIMMAP MMS) into Pakistan. We wanted to close the nutrition gap for pregnant women severely affected by malnutrition — especially those affected by the 2022 floods. By working closely with the government of Pakistan and our U.S. partner, Kirk Humanitarian, we aim to advance the standard of antenatal care in Pakistan to improve maternal and birth outcomes.

Whether you write a check, contribute time or services, or establish a foundation, you, as an entrepreneur, can invest philanthropically. Just as business owners evaluate for-profit opportunities for benefit and risk, charitable giving requires similar due diligence. Not all opportunities are worthy of investment. It’s up to the donor to differentiate between them. Entrepreneurs, stakeholders and communities can create powerful change to impact our world for the better. Isn’t that what entrepreneurship is all about? ●

Ansir Junaid is Chairman and CEO of SupplySide Group

Ansir Junaid

Chairman and CEO