Business focus results in clearer future for social enterprise

Abbie Morris thought her business idea could go in several different directions to achieve success. But concentrating on doing one thing well at first was essential for a strong foundation.


Abbie Morris Compare Ethics

We’ve all heard of business to business (B2B) enterprises, where one company sells to another. And we’re all aware of business to customer (B2C) enterprises, where a company is selling to individuals. Abbie Morris thought her social enterprise Compare Ethics might have both markets, something she refers to as B2B2C.

“At the beginning it’s so easy to try and do everything,” said Morris. “I think at the time we were actually up in the air with quite a lot of things.”

Morris and co-founder James Omisakin started Compare Ethics, a platform where brands are rated against their ethical claims, in 2019. Morris describes it as verification technology for retail businesses. The platform ranks how sustainable products are across three categories: planet friendly, social good and animal cruelty free.

Confident about B2B but less so about B2C, Morris approached Expert Impact for support in 2020. We matched her with Tom Adeyoola, who’d been very successful with his own tech business Metail. He thought they might be trying to run before they’d started to walk.

“Tom was super knowledgeable, very generous with his time and had really great examples of his scaling challenges. He was really clear that we needed to be laser focused (on one thing). It really got us into a different mindset,” said Morris.

James and Abbie decided to focus on the B2B impact of their business. To do that, they had to double down on research and development in order to attract their business customers. Two years on, 85% of their leads are inbound enquiries and their team has grown to six people. Just as important, it’s helped with their social impact too.

“We’re trying to make sure that every single claim on social issues that are put out into the market from responsible companies are compliant and have the right data to back it up. By leaning into that laser focus on a B2B product, it helped us zone in on how businesses are doing this well at scale.

“We could then be better and have higher efficacy in our work. Which means a better impact overall for targeting eradication of modern slavery and other things that might be hidden in the supply chain,” said Morris.

Adeyoola has stayed in touch with the pair and Morris says that, as a result of the quality of mentoring he offered, she and co-founder James have sought out advisors at each stage of their business journey.

“Our obstacles are not the sort of thing you’re going to type into Google to find out. A lot of these really important mentorship dynamics are highly tailored to your specific challenges. Having mentors and Expert Impact has been really instrumental to how we’ve grown since,” said Morris.

Abbie Morris met Tom Adeyoola for mentoring through Expert Impact. If you’d like some help with your business from a mentor, start here

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