What truly differentiates Certified B Corporations
Certifying and Supporting B Corps is overseen by B Lab®, a recognized nonprofit governing body, which holds all entities seeking evaluation and certification, globally, to a very high standard and moral code.
B Lab® believes at the very core of an entity’s purpose is an oath to use business as a force for good, to positively impact the world around them socially, environmentally and economically. Not to be confused with Benefit Corporation legal US for-profit status, though ethics and values are similar, becoming a Certified B Corporation® stands alone. The rigorous testing requires all entities to meet higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance of its operations, company culture, and corporate decisions. Companies who choose to become a Certified B Corporation® “…are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business”, says B Lab®. It is the reintegration of humanity within the business model.
B Corporation® certification, the perfect decision
We exist to be a force for good. This is our mindset and state of being! As such, we are mindful of our impact on our local community, the environment, and society at large! Our hope is to demonstrate to the world that it is possible to increase profits in a framework that Social performance is JUST as important as Profits. Simon Sinek, a prominent motivational speaker says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” This summarizes why becoming B Corporation® certified was the perfect decision for Vita Global [PR.com Press Release, Oct 7, 2015].
Vita Global founders experiences guided their decision
B Corp advocates take action
Colleen introduced us to the idea of becoming a B Corp, and on this notion a team of students at Thunderbird School of Global Management we were mentoring for NetImpact conducted research to determine how Vita Global could fit into the B Corp ‘picture’.
After reading an article in the AZ Central Business Buzz section, and the passing of laws which now allow the registration of Benefit Corporations as a legal status in the state of Arizona, we were introduced to SEED SPOT. We were moved by their vision and impacted by their positive influence. Shortly thereafter, Portland was invited by a friend to attend a SEED SPOT event where she met the co-founder, Courtney Klein. Portland described the encounter, “Courtney is an awe inspiring change agent. It was a privilege to meet her!”
SEED SPOT, a 501(c)3 nonprofit incubator & accelerator, is on a mission to educate, accelerate, and invest in entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to social problems. For the past 3 years, SEED SPOT has been a driving force for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Phoenix, Arizona. Since opening their doors in 2012, SEED SPOT has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post, Geek Wire and many Arizona publications.
SEED SPOT’s core focus is on supporting passionate social entrepreneurs; those that have developed products, services, or technologies that improve the lives of people or communities. They attract entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors that have a vested interest in generating profit, while developing solutions to solve important societal problems.
We asked SEED SPOT a couple of questions recently to find out what influenced them to become involved with Benefit Corporations and Certified B Corporation®.
What inspired you to influence others about B Corporation legal entity status and becoming Certified B Corps through B Lab®?
SEED SPOT: Entrepreneurs and community stakeholders should have a way to pro-actively protect the positive impact on the world. Through incorporating as a Benefit Corporation, for-profit entrepreneurs put a flag in the ground that says “we are here to do good and be sustainable.” In addition, becoming a Benefit Corporation protects the entrepreneur from outside investors that might want only a return, but no impact. Truly it has been developed to be a win-win-win for the entrepreneur, any investors, and the community at large!
One important distinction – being a Benefit Corporation is different than being a Certified B Corporation®. Both are great, but play different roles in the impact space.
Being a Certified B Corporation® is an amazing way to benchmark and track an entrepreneur’s effectiveness for doing good. B Corp certification is a rigorous process to demonstrate that a company truly has the overarching community in mind at all times. It is comprised of rigorous standards that measure social performance, environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The process is overseen and awarded by nonprofit organization B Lab® and is globally recognized.
What encouraged or motivated SEED SPOT to support the decision to introduce Benefit Corporation legal entity status and B Corporation® certification to Arizona?
SEED SPOT: Simply put, it provides a significant value to Arizona by putting Arizona on the map for protecting social entrepreneurs and creating a culture that is inclusive.
SEED SPOT’s focus on social impact sets them apart from other organizations as one of few incubators that aim to support entrepreneurs who use business as a force for good and make a profit. It’s not shocking that this unique organization helped bring B Corporation® to Arizona.
A big thank you to Seed Spot’s Tabitha Branscome, Director of Development, for her assistance with the above. Do you want to learn more about how their community is empowering entrepreneurs to change the world? Checkout @seedspot on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook or visit their website, http://seedspot.org.
For me, becoming a B Corp further confirms that taking the risk to become an entrepreneur was exactly the right move. In fact, I’ve never wanted to be an entrepreneur more than I do now. It has further fanned the flames behind the WHY of Vita Global and provided me with greater clarity and focus in how I want to make an impact globally.
Becoming a B Corp is part of my legacy. I want to contribute to shaping the next generation of entrepreneurs, particularly women. Entrepreneurs who are in-tune to the deep needs in the world, motivated by a purpose greater than themselves, driven by values, and engaged in using their businesses to collaborate with others to create a better life in the world around them. I am humbled. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to engage in such life changing work. How cool is that??- Colleen Dyble