The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise, causing fatal illness and economic hardship for brands, organisations and consumers globally. It resulted in widespread socioeconomic disruption, halted supply chains, global trade, and changed the ways businesses and organisations access finances and other associated “normal” business activities. Moreover, the public and businesses’ ability to cope has rested primarily on palliatives, new government policies and initiatives, which might still not work as intended.
Furthermore, the pandemic has led to an upswing in businesses and enterprises pulling together and offering support to SMEs and communities as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, which could be vital to kickstart local economies. With billions affected financially and mentally, the crisis has also made more consumers aware and educated on social issues, and they have begun demanding businesses institute policies that benefit all of society rather than just the business’ bottom line.
Against this backdrop, we engaged CSR experts in our national focus group on how Nigerian companies choose to be socially responsible to their communities and stakeholders in a post-COVID world and how CSR strategies have always affected their bottom-lines.
In economics, companies are also advised to invest in more than one bottom-line. Apart from profit, the triple-bottom-line also demands a focus on people and the planet. It is like a cycle – companies have to be managed in a way that not only makes money but which also improves people’s lives and the planet. That way, customers can confirm that a company is invested in them and reward the company. You can describe it as ‘you have to spend money to make money.