Networking needs a rebrand

Networking gets a bad rap, because it’s often poorly facilitated. Creating a space for networking that is both results-driven and human is one of Sara Osterholzer’s superpowers.

Sara is an impact entrepreneur, startup mentor, and Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Sussex. She’s also the co-founder of the Good Business Club, a community for entrepreneurs who want to align people and planet with profit.

The Good Business framework

These are questions you can ask of your business to help evaluate the positive impact you’re having. For an in-depth look, take the Good Business Quiz.

  • What impact are you having on the people who work for you, or in your business?
  • Where are your clients in their ethical journey?
  • What impact is your supply chain having?
  • What is your offering? Is it more sustainable or ethical than the alternative?
  • What is the impact you have on a local level, or within your community?
  • What is the impact you’re having on the environment?

Some things to consider

  • If your business can’t sustain itself, then it can’t have the impact you want.
  • Doing good is a long-term aim. If it feels tricky in the short-term but your intentions are good, give yourself a break.
  • Networking is a long game.
  • A community is not a place (a Slack workspace or an email list or a Facebook group). It’s a collection of people who think differently and want many different things, but are aligned around a common purpose or shared interest.
  • Welcoming and onboarding community members individually takes more time, but it’s likely to provide more value to them, and reduce churn.


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