6th October 2021 / B1G1

Making a Difference and the lessons we can learn

M.A.D Accountants was established with the intention of making a difference, both in the lives of our customers and others around the world. That’s why we got involved with B1G1, a social enterprise that aims to leverage the collective power of small businesses to make an impact where it is needed. This is called the HUGE power of small.

The premise is simple; for every business engagement we have we make a donation on our clients behalf to the B1G1 programme. For example, when a new client signs up for our service, we provide access to water for families in Ethiopia. Other examples specific to us include thirty days of medical protection for Nepalese street dogs when we file a personal tax return and providing business training for women in Malawi when we file your set of company accounts.

Contributions aren’t always driven by client activity either. For example, when we re-fill our 15-litre bottle in the office, we donate water in Cambodia; when we gain a new follower on Twitter, we give grain to children in Malawi. In this way, B1G1 is making an impact in some of the poorest regions in the world. We’re also able to measure the impact in real-time which you’ll see if you head over to the Making a Difference section of our website.

Not so long ago, B1G1 reached over 250 million giving impacts (September 2021 - current giving impacts are 270 million (Feb 1st 2022)) and to mark this, founder and CEO Masami Sato has reflected on the lessons learnt since the charity’s inception back in 2007.

Masami considers the unintended consequences of the concept of giving. She recalls hearing about product donations that ate into domestic merchants’ profits in the countries where they were supposed to do good and recycling shipped and effectively dumped overseas as two examples.

The lesson here was that any action, even that with the intention to do good, can result in unforeseen consequences and, as a social enterprise, it is important to learn from these experiences and adapt. She also acknowledges that it is financial donations that can truly make the most impact on the ground.

Another key takeaway, one that is very much a theme in B1G1, is that any individual can give - no matter its size. It is important not to wait until your business or your personal wealth is large enough, even a small amount can make a difference. This is something very much reflected in the model of giving we adopt with something as simple as signing up to our services triggering a financial donation - in the words or our good friend Steve Pipe he has coined the phrase "when good, then good" - when something good happens to us then something good happens in the world.

As a charity, B1G1 has also benefited from starting out small themselves, and this is something else Masami reflects on. Working with initially limited resources and partnering with smaller businesses and worthy causes, they were able to refine their operations before they grew:

It’s like we’ve created an ‘ecosystem of giving’ together. Here, businesses and their small everyday actions contribute to a more sustainable future, just like tiny honey bees pollinating flowers around the world. All businesses and causes we work with are part of this ecosystem — they allow us to learn and evolve step by step.

MASAMI SATO - founder and CEO of B1G1

In closing, Masami stresses the importance of honouring the process and the importance of the stakeholders involved in making the charity the success that it is. This is an ethos that we very much wish to extend to our own customers who are of course stakeholders themselves. Without your involvement, we would not be able to make quite as much of a difference. So thank you.

Did you know that we’ve got a breakdown of statistics and a Map of where our work makes an impact globally? Find out how your continued custom is Making a Difference or, for more information or to find out how to join so you can make an impact - get in touch with us!

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