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The Benefits of Becoming a B Corporation

Check out the above video above to see why Etsy became a B Corp. (To read more about the overall impact B Corps have already made, visit here.)

B Corp Perks
While reevaluating company standards to become a Certified B Corp takes time, here are some of the long-lasting benefits for becoming a B Corp. To read more testimonies from Certified B Corps, check out The B Corp Handbook by Ryan Honeyman.

To see 7 benefits start-ups can have by joining the B-Corp movement, check out this article.

Being Part of a Community of Leaders with Shared Values

B Corp leaders mentioned they first pursued certification for the marketing perks, product and service discounts, and to benchmark their social and environmental performance. However, they cite that being part of the bigger B. Corp. community, rather, has been the most fulfilling aspect.

B Corp leaders have been greatly enriched by the high level of trust, intellect, collaboration, innovation, and positive joy that has become ingrained in the community.

Attracting Talent and Engaging Employees

According to a study completed by Goldman Sachs, millennials, who represent almost 50 percent of the workforce, seek better work-life integration in addition to work-life balance. They want to work for a company that can both fulfill an economic need and a higher calling.

B Corp certification also attracts top MBA talent. MBA graduates at Columbia, New York University, and Yale business schools now have their loans forgiven if they work for Certified B Corporations.

Increasing Credibility and Building Trust

According to Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” video, consumers buy why you do something, rather than what you do. Customers want to feel drawn to the story behind your brand. The B. Corp standards help you deliver this in concrete and measurable ways.

Generating Press

B Corporations are featured on CBS Evening News, CNN, and PBS NewsHour segments. Over 2,000 articles have been written by media outlets such as the Atlantic, Economist, Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur magazine. Celebrities include Jessica Alba, owner of The Honest Company.

B Lab gives B Corporations a lot of press through marketing and public relations support. They nominate and advocate for B Corps to receive honors. B Corps represented 31% of Bloomberg Businessweek’s Top Social Entrepreneurs, 25% of the GOOD Company Project’s finalists, and 23 of Inc. magazine’s 500/5,000 list in 2013.

Benchmarking and Improving Performance

The B Impact Assessment is a free tool that measures social and environmental performance on a scale of zero to 200 points. The Quick Impact Assessment only takes about 20 minutes to complete.

To see an overview of the criteria that B Corps focus on, read about them here.

Attracting Investors

B Corp. certification attracts mission-driven or impact investors, mainstream investors, and big companies that want to acquire a cutting-edge or innovative brand. Mainstream venture capitalist Union Square Ventures, who invested in Etsy, believes B Corps are attractive because companies that produce the most stakeholder value will produce the best returns.

All Certified B Corps receive a free Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS) and a free listing on the B Analytics investor-facing platform. B Lab can also make direct introductions to Certified B Corps in the financial services industry, such as Investors’ Circle.

B Lab’s own funders are listed here. They include The Rockefeller Foundation, Calvert Foundation, Deloitte, and the United States Agency for International Development.

Protecting a Company’s Mission for the Long Term

B Corp was founded to address the challenges entrepreneurs face in raising capital, growing, or selling a business without compromising the company’s foundational social and environmental values. Thus, Certified B Corps amend their governing and legal documents to maintain their social and environmental mission over time.

This expanded legal protection makes sure that successive leaders (i.e. CEOs) and investors must maintain consistent shareholder and stakeholder value in future decisions.

Building Collective Voice

The B Corp brand amplifies the voices of a diverse marketplace of over 1,000 businesses in over sixty industries and 30 countries. This is more powerful than any single company.

When the B Corp logo is used on products from Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream to King Arthur flour, it benefits the entire B Corp, not just individual brands.

Saving Money

B Corp. have enjoyed over $5 million in savings through partnership discounts with companies like Intuit, NetSuite, and Salesforce. B Corps also give each other discounts on consulting, marketing, office management, capital raising, travel, human resources, legal, design, media, and web development services.

Some major U.S. cities, such as San Francisco and Philadelphia, support B Corps by giving modest tax incentives and procurement preferences.

Leading a Global Movement

Ryan Honeyman states, “Changing the world is a team sport.” Thus, B Lab has partnered with organizations, such as Sistema B in South America, to drive the movement globally. There are B Lab offices in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc.
Rising Entrepreneurs
To see 7 benefits start-ups can have by joining the B-Corp movement, check out this article.

Companies referenced are for illustrative purposes and should not be considered recommendations.