Ask any business owner what the purpose of a business is, and the chances are the answer you’ll get is “to make money!”
But for local business owners Shaun and Liana Bezuidenhout, the purpose is to be able to give back.
Shaun, Liana, and their two kids emigrated from South Africa in 2014 and chose Colorado after an extensive search of not just America but the globe.
“We’ve been here for almost five years, and to get holed up in Colorado is something to be grateful for, for sure,” Shaun says.
Shaun and his wife are both business owners, the entrepreneurs behind Floor Crafters and Boulder’s FITtec. Boutique EMS Studio, respectively, and both businesses make a point to return profits to charity.
“So we call it business for a purpose,” Shaun explains. “We make sure that we give back and that’s our purpose. We’re not in this just to make money—it’s not worth the effort if you’re only in it for the money, to be honest. Plus, it’s a great example for our kids that we can help families and children and help people that can’t help themselves.”
Shaun and Liana are actively involved in Boulder-based local charities A Precious Child, and the Emergency Family Assistance Association, and they are starting a program to give back to Kabega Park Primary School in South Africa, where Liana attended as a child, and where her mother currently teaches.
“Kids are coming in without breakfast or lunch packed for them, and they don’t have cafeterias, so they’ll go the whole day without eating,” Shaun says. “So we’re putting a food program in place to feed as many kids as we can on a daily basis at that school.”
Charity has long been a part of the family’s life and has always been important to Shaun and Liana, but it has been a process to figure out exactly how to discuss charitable practices in conjunction with their business the right way. When they came to Colorado nearly five years ago, a friend of the family advised them to get involved with charity as a marketing technique—something Shaun and Liana balked at.
“We just didn’t think that was us and that wasn’t why we would want to get involved in charities,” Shaun says. In fact, he has been trying to find a subtle way to let people know the good that their money will do when all is said and done—the main idea, for now, is to include a line on the invoice at the end of the project letting people know that a portion of profits will be going to charity.
But while Shaun is shy to boast about his charity work while conducting business, it’s important to him and his wife that their kids—aged nine and five—be aware of the importance of charity, and how lucky they are.
“It’s difficult because sometimes kids will just be kids,” Shaun says. “We sometimes expect kids to understand things that are far beyond them, but we definitely encourage them. When they seem ungrateful, which is normal for any kids, we try to explain to them that many people don’t have the luxuries that we have. And that we must appreciate every single day and be grateful for what we have.”