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B Corp: A certification that gets noticed by young talent
Nonprofits aren’t the only organizations that do good – there are plenty of for-profit companies that are making a big impact when it comes to being socially and environmentally responsible. Recently this movement has gained momentum, with benefit corporation laws and third-party certification making headlines.
What exactly is a benefit corporation? The purpose of a benefit corporation is to go beyond making a profit to include initiatives and other business practices that embrace purpose and accountability for the benefit of the general public. Basically, these companies are making a positive impact in addition to making money.
Benefit corporations aren’t just fleeting feel-good companies – new laws are proving they may be the face of a new economy in the United States. Twenty benefit corp laws have already been passed in states throughout the country, including California, Delaware and South Carolina. There are 18 more laws pending in other states like Minnesota, Ohio and Florida.
While the term benefit corporation and B Corp are often used interchangeably, it’s important to know they are two separate things. Although they have much in common, companies that seek B Corp designation must undergo strict third-party certification from the nonprofit B Lab. Each must meet performance and legal requirements, and sign a declaration before receiving certification.
Why should a company go to the trouble of becoming a B Corp? It can be a time-consuming process with ongoing checks and balances, but there are numerous advantages in addition to the satisfaction of knowing your business is making a bigger difference beyond the dollar.
1. Attract talent
More workers, particularly younger employees, desire more than just a job; they want to feel like they are making a bigger impact. The B Corp site proves this point by stating, “According to Harvard Business Review, millennials, roughly 50 percent of the global workforce, want work that connects to a larger purpose.” It’s no secret that happy and engaged employees work harder, are more loyal and help a company grow.
2. Good PR
B Corps are a marketer’s dream because every one of them has a compelling story to tell. Whether you’re targeting local or national media outlets, B Corp certification is an easy way to share your company’s beliefs and attract press interest.
3. Investors take notice
Companies looking to grow and need investor funding can get a competitive edge by becoming a B Corp. The certification demonstrates business integrity, strict performance standards and a focused vision, all of which can be attractive to potential investors.
Would your company be interested in becoming a B Corp? Learn more at www.bcorporation.net.