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B Corporations -- Pacific Northwest OD Network


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Stephanie Ryan engaged a large group of us about B Corporations. She talked about her background and path to come to work with B-Lab, the organization which certifies B- Corporations. She told a story from her experience as consultant in a feast-or-famine cycle to becoming and a mother wanting her work to mean more, to make the world a better place.

As her path unfolded, she witnessed the pain of the non-profit always needing money and the pain of for profit companies lacking mission-driven motivation and turned to focus her work on the philanthropic relationship. There she saw short-term return on investment confining the good work of mission-driven organizations. When Stephanie discovered B- Corporation she had a revelation. The certified B Corporation’s structure falls some where between the non-profit and the for profit business. It was clear at the meeting that many present where feeling that way as well.

After the Stephanie connected with the group, she presented her slides with passion and humor. She gave the attendees history of B Corporation and its impact to date. There was a B Corporation owner in the room, who shared her story about launching her consultancy. Sheri Hendricks started Alchemia Consulting this year on a quest to collaborate and operate with a deep sense of integrity.

There was high energy in the room. Some of the questions people asked were:

* What is the timeline to become certified?
* What is the role of a Board member like in a B Corp?
* How is this different from GRI reports?
* What is the investors circle?

Stephanie slits her work time between B-Lab and Whidbey Island Institute. She has a documentary titled BeComing: Women's Circles, Women's Lives.Contact Stephanie:

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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B Corporations -- Pacific Northwest OD Network

  1. 1. Using the Power of Business to Solve Social and Environmental Problems
  2. 2. Introductions <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scaled from inception to $250 MM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sold business in 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What’s Next? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New Company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fund </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Infrastructure Play: B Lab </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Infrastructure Play <ul><li>Three elements missing preventing market acceleration: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal Framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collective Voice </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>We need a new sector of the economy . . . </li></ul><ul><li>- Govt/nonprofit sectors necessary, but insufficient </li></ul><ul><li>Business drives everything (77% US GDP) </li></ul><ul><li>Business can solve problems at scale with speed </li></ul><ul><li>- C Corps, S Corps . . . B Corps </li></ul><ul><li>• Procurement/Supply Chain preferences </li></ul><ul><li>• Investment preferences </li></ul><ul><li>• Tax incentives </li></ul><ul><li>• Social stock exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>. . . as large as the nonprofit sector today </li></ul>Why does this matter?
  5. 5. <ul><li>B Corporations: </li></ul><ul><li>Meet high performance and legal standards </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiation for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>investors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>policy makers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build collective voice for “good companies” </li></ul>What’s a B Corp?
  6. 6. Some examples?
  7. 8. Standards <ul><li>B Ratings System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive Assessment Tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transparent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rigorous yet User-Friendly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools & Best Practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve Performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Management Tool </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B Report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comparable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defines what’s good enough </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Version 1.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Industry Specificity </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 11. Legal Framework <ul><li>Shareholder to Stakeholder Business </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal Structure for Beneficial Businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Works within current corporate law </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expands the responsibilities of the corporation to include the interests of stakeholders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Permission and Protection for Directors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expands the rights of shareholders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built to Last </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Investors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Owners: IPO / Acquisition </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 14. Collective Voice <ul><li>Unifying Ingredient Brand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unites social enterprise and sustainability movement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manifestation of the same intent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes good easy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consumers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Investors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Suppliers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant market with minimal presence </li></ul></ul>
  10. 18. •  Influence the market beyond the success of your individual company • Save money (i.e. 75% off Salesforce) • Maintain mission post-sale/succession • Differentiation via third-party validation But, what’s in it for me?
  11. 19. New Sector of the Economy <ul><li>Capital Markets </li></ul><ul><li>Supply Chain Initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Policy </li></ul>