A company’s reason for being

Profit is not the purpose of a company, profit is the outcome of identifying and pursuing a purpose that benefits society.

A shared why?

The role of business is to fulfil human wants and needs and to pursue a purpose that has a clear benefit to society. It is through the fulfilment of the chosen purpose that value is created.

A shared how?

Leaders in a company should put its purpose first and seek investors, employees, and other partners who are equally committed to pursue it and thereby achieve long-term, sustainable value. Investors and boards should recognise that making competitive returns for shareholders is essential to a company’s success – but is not its purpose.

The Purposeful Company’s Contribution

The Purposeful Company wants to see purpose placed at the heart of British business. This requires embedding a human and moral purpose into the DNA of a company that ensures both a commitment to long-term value creation, and strong business ethics.

In a purposeful company, profit flows from purpose. Purpose acts as a north star, guiding action throughout the business. Government and company law are necessary but are not capable of anticipating all unwanted eventualities. Business, by delivering its purpose, must play its part in building a better society and stronger, more resilient, high performance economy. This will benefit all stakeholders and improve trust in business.

It is a transformation. Since The Purposeful Company was formed in 2015 with the support of the Bank of England, we have been examining how the entire ecosystem in the UK can best be enhanced to support the development of purposeful companies. This covers ownership structures, stewardship, corporate governance and executive incentives.

Our distinctive approach brings the best quality academic research, combined with decades of practitioner experience to develop detailed, evidence-based and implementable policy proposals. We have a track record of working closely with companies, investors, and policymakers to bring these ideas to life in the real world.

Do join us and help forge a UK economy with purpose at its very heart.

The Steering Group

The Purposeful Company is guided by a Steering Group.


Our Evidence Reports

Task Force members

The Purposeful Company is supported by Task Force members from a range of leading companies, investment houses, business schools and business consultancy firms.

Explore our achievements and priorities