How do you measure the success of a business organization? Of course, sales, revenue, acquisitions, customer base, etc. are key indicators that determine whether a business is growing. But in 2021, maintaining financial health isn’t enough to make your company successful.

Instead, today’s entrepreneurs are constantly striving to ensure that their businesses create a strong impact on the world. From transforming the work culture and adopting employee-friendly policies to establishing environmentally friendly operations – modern businesses are becoming the harbingers of social change.

In this blog, we’ve handpicked a list of some of the most impactful businesses in 2021. Let’s take a look.


Founded in 2006, Professional Eye Care Associates of America or PECAA is the brainchild of three Portland-based independent ODs. Throughout the years, PECAA has helped many businesses with getting the help they need to thrive in a challenging and competitive setting.

Today, the organization has evolved into a strong-knit community of driven eye care professionals and consultants. Whether you’re looking to start an optometry business or promote your ophthalmology practice, PECAA has a wide variety of business solutions to assist entrepreneurs in the eye care industry.

From digital marketing and advertising support to staff training, as well as legal and financial consulting – PECAA handholds ODs through the business-related aspects of launching and running a practice. They also organize various virtual and in-person events to help you build your business network and learn from other professionals.

2. First Descents

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, First Descents is a non-profit organization that curates outdoor adventure programs for young adults (between 18 and 39 years of age) who have been diagnosed with cancer or other serious ailments.

The founder, Brad Ludden, is a professional kayaker who realized the lack of support available for cancer patients when his aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. This laid the foundation of First Descents and Ludden went on to launch the company in 2001 when he was 20 years old.

In its two-decade-long history, First Descents has collaborated with more than 450 medical centers to provide adventure-based healing services to roughly 10,000 young adults. In 2020, the company also expanded its services to healthcare professionals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Charity: Water

Charity: Water is a New York-based non-profit organization that’s committed to alleviating the global water crisis. Founded in 2006, the company has raised more than $370 million from individual fundraisers and donors to fund water projects in developing countries.

As of 2021, Charity Waters has funded more than 64,000 water projects, including rainwater catchments, natural spring protections, and water filtration systems, across 29 developing countries. 

The organization hopes that the completion of these projects will help provide clean and safe drinking water to roughly 13 million people. They also organize educational programs in first-world countries to raise awareness about the issue of the global water crisis.

4. DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose is a non-profit organization that was launched in 2000 by a history teacher at a public high school in the Bronx. The company has developed an online portal where teachers can request supplies, resources, and tools for classroom projects and donors are free to select any project they wish to fund.

What sets DonorsChoose apart is that their team vets each project, purchases and ships supplies, and maintains transparency with donors. This has helped them fulfill more than 1.9 million classroom projects across 85% of public schools in the U.S. As of 2021, they’ve raised more than $1 billion for a wide array of classroom projects, music, performing arts, applied, and science-related projects. 

DonorsChoose has been awarded the highest rating by Charity Navigator every year, since 2005. The founder, Charles Best was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show in June 2003. The company’s national corporate and foundation partners include Google, Target, PNC Bank, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

5. Kiva

Launched in 2005, Kiva is a non-profit microfinancing company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company has developed a crowdfunding platform to let low-income entrepreneurs and students in developing countries borrow money from lenders across the world.

As of 2021, Kiva has helped raise funds for loans worth $1.56 billion from nearly 1.9 million lenders. The platform boasts a repayment rate of more than 96% with roughly 4 million borrowers across 77 countries. The company strives to alleviate poverty by helping borrowers and lenders connect on a personal level.

Do you know of any other companies that are making a remarkable social impact? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.