Become a B (Benefit) Corporation, offer a better way to do business
March 21, 2015
Attention entrepreneurs! You’ve heard of C corporations and S corporations, have you heard about B corporations? There is a movement to do more for our world than the standard model of corporations does. A B Corp is still a corporation to make profits, but this new legal entity encourages higher quality jobs and to improve the quality of life in our communities. Instead of investor returns dictating corporate decisions, according to Bill Saporito of Time Magazine, in a B Corp “profits still matter, but employees, suppliers, the community, and the environment can be on equal footing with owners or shareholders.”
Furthermore, B Corp companies represent a type of capitalism that attacks social and environmental problems. “Consumers, investors, entrepreneurs and policymakers have recognized that business is the most powerful man-made force on the planet and it can be used as a powerful force for good,” argues Jay Coen Gilbert, a former sneaker entrepreneur and a cofounder of B Lab, a non-profit that certifies benefit corporations. “It can marshal talent and resources at scale and with speed unlike other sectors.”
But becoming a certified benefit corporation isn’t simple. Companies seeking the status must undergo annual audits in areas like governance, employment practices, community performance, and environmental stewardship. They are measured on a 200 point scale and a minimum of 80 is required to qualify.
For A to Z Wineworks in Oregon, their grape growers it contracts with are guaranteed fair prices, its distributors are not squeezed for every last penny, employees are paid 43% over the local living wage, and the business is run on a sustainable basis. It is also profitable.
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