This entrepreneur has stepped up to help during two global crises — here’s what he’s learned

The future of CSR according to Danby Appliances CEO Jim Estill

Why It Matters

Along with the rest of the world, Canada is facing some major challenges as we recover economically from the pandemic. Unemployment is at a high, experts say homelessness rates will rise, and small businesses are fundamentally threatened. Corporations with the means to do so have a responsibility to contribute to recovery.

Prior to the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015, Jim Estill — founder and CEO of Guelph-based Danby Appliances — had always taken a more traditional approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR). As he explains it: “Basically, there’s a certain amount of money you need to keep to run a business, and I would donate everything above that every year.”

But during both the Syrian refugee crisis five years ago and today’s COVID-19 pandemic, Estill has felt a need to take things a step further. 

In 2015, after watching the migration crisis unfold in Europe, Estill decided to personally sponsor 50 refugees, offering them jobs at Danby Appliances for a stable financial base as they transitioned to life

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