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Doing it on 'Purposely'

Should you consider using Purposely to incorporate purpose into your company’s articles of association, asks ICAEW Head of Enterprise Nick Levine.

Nick Levine

March 2019

Developed in response to the government’s 2016 Mission-led Business Review, which assessed the trend of new businesses seeking to achieve a social as well as financial impact, Purposely is a tool that helps businesses incorporate purpose into their articles.

What is a mission-led business?

A mission-led business is loosely defined as a company which is able to fully distribute its profits, has a positive social impact as a central tenant, and reports on its social impact to stakeholders.

Examples of well-known mission-led businesses include Tom’s Shoes (who donate a pair of shoes to children in need for every pair sold) and Lush cosmetics (who run an ethical supply chain as well as supporting a number of causes).

Why should you want to make your business purpose led?

Making your business purpose led can have many benefits. Increasingly a younger demographic of millennials are seeking to work at companies which have values that reflect their own.

Additionally, recent research by Nielsen shows that 66% of consumers are willing to pay a price premium for mission-led companies.

Creating a purpose led business also creates a legacy for the founder/s, with a mission statement which will outlive them.

How does Purposely work?

Purposely is an online tool that is free to use for private limited companies up to three years old.

Subsequent to visiting the website, business owners are required to complete a short online questionnaire about their business. This results in a set of amended articles most relevant, with businesses then given tips on how to draft and adapt their articles of association and then register them with Companies House.

While the articles have been drafted by the law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, Purposely does not constitute as finance advice in itself so users are advised to seek this where appropriate.

What has been the impact of Purposely?

Since its launch nearly 4,000 people have visited the Purposely website, with more than 240 model articles downloaded. Additionally, the UK Government’s Civil Society strategy has supported it and it is now shortlisted for a 2019 Digital Agenda Impact award.

Nick Levine is ICAEW Head of Enterprise.

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