Consumers are becoming more and more socially conscious, and they want the goods and services they use to measure up. In truth, it doesn't take much. A simple action that costs a company very little or nothing at all can make a real difference in the mind of the consumer and the company's bottom line.
There are some companies, however, that the socially responsible investor would never even think to consider as a contender in this regard. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) is very likely one of them. But the Great Vampire Squid, as it was famously coined in a 2011 Rolling Stone article, is up to more good these days than anyone might think.
Without further ado, then, let's have a look at the Wall Street titan and analyze the company in terms of its performance as a socially conscious enterprise, a business, and an investment.
10,000 Small Businesses
An initiative called 10,000 Small Businesses is Goldman's $500 million effort to, as the company puts it on its website, "help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services." The program is currently at work in cities across the country, including New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Salt Lake City, and will continue to expand.