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Why would a business want to be a B Corp?

Performance

There is a wealth of data that supports the idea that businesses with a holistic approach outperform those that don't (see: "What evidence is there for a 'better', more conscientious approach to business?"). You can take this approach without being a B Corp, but the accountability, inspiration and access to resources that the B Corp community provides can put rocket fuel in your efforts.

In 2017, UK B Corps grew 28 times faster UK GDP, with average year-on-year growth being 14%. 35% of UK B Corps found they attracted new audiences after certifying and 48%  found that prospective staff were attracted to the business specifically because it was a B Corp.

Investment

B Corps also attract investment, with over $1 Billion invested in them so far. Almost every major Silicon Valley investor now owns a stake in a B Corp. And there are also a growing number of public companies taking interest in B Corps - from both an acquisition and partnership perspective.

See: "Who is investing in B Corps?"

Global Market Trends

The marketplace is shifting ever further towards a more conscientious approach to products and services. If the 20th Century was the age of the Shareholder, then the 21st looks well set to be that of the Stakeholder. The B Corp model is well placed to address the key areas of concern going forward, including:

  • Governance
  • Investors
  • Customer Trust
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Employee Experience


Common Identities

Different people have different motivations for pursuing the B Corp model. B Lab UK has identified six common ones; all are valid and many people fall into more than one.

The No Brainer
“This is why I started my business. No explanation needed.”
The Authentics
“We want to put our values into practice.”
The Disruptors
“We’re growing and we want something to help us stand out.”
The Philosophers
“The old narrative is broken. We want an alternative that works.”
The Provocateurs
“Our clients are cynical about the private sector and we want a new stance.”
The Incentivised
“Our investors/parent company want us to do this.”


B Corp Benefits

The value proposition of being a B Corp is broad. In summary:

Mission lock

Protect the company’s mission; stakeholder, not shareholder; empower leadership team.

Trade with like-minded businesses

Global trading; built-in due diligence; aligned values.

Collective voice

Being part of something bigger; market leaders; finding your tribe; getting the word out; challenging business as usual.

Measurement tools

Measure; manage and improve; benchmark; inform strategy; engage employees.

Global community

Best practice sharing; collaboration; global consistency.

Branding

The B Corp brand is ever increasingly a marker for quality and authenticity.

But what about…?

Three of the most common FAQs at this point are:

This sounds like just another certification: “What’s different about the B Corp certification vs the others that are available?”

This sounds like it might not be applicable to my particular context: “Is the B Corp movement only for a particular type/size of business?”

This sounds like more of the same: “We’re already doing lots of sustainability work: why would we want to look at the B Corp model as well?”

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  1. John Featherby

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