B Corp. A fascinating new movement.

Getting to edit the footage shot at the recent Social Venture Network Conference has been such a wonderful experience. I truly would have loved to be there, had i known about it taking place. But sitting at my desk looking through hours of footage shot there’s pretty much the next best thing. From an educational perspective alone, there’s so much to be gained from putting the leaders of socially conscious businesses, the movers and shakers for social issues, all in the same place for a few days. It’s where you’ll witness the true power of collaboration in eye-opening discussions and debates. Like one of the interviewees said… it’s like grad school in 24-hours.

One of the people interviewed who really stood out to me was Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder of B Lab. They started a new movement for businesses to become B Corporations. I remember my boss telling me that our company was recently certified B Corp, but didn’t quite understand what that meant. She briefly explained that there currently exists S Corporations and C Corporations. S Corps have less than 100 shareholders and do not have their incomes taxed while C Corps have to pay taxes.

So what are B Corporations? They are a new type of corporation that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. And because there is a strict set of guidelines to meet before one can qualify as a B Corp, it makes it easier to then identify companies that are really doing good. As a B Corp, it is also legally required that as you pass down your business, you’ll ensure that the mission of the organization is not compromised. I found a great little explanation of how it works by Jeffrey Hollender, the co-founder of Seventh Generation, one of B Corp’s founding corporations. Though I know I’ve just barely scratched the surface of it and there’s still much more to learn, I think it’s a brilliant idea. Enjoy.

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