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B-Corporations: Profitable business by social impact comes of age

 

Doing good is no longer a matter of charitable, non-profit organizations. It is the matter and the reason for profits,

 

31 states have now recognized a new form or incorporation, the Benefit or B-Corporation, which is defined as a corporation that includes positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals

 

Traditional corporations had a fiduciary duty of maximizing return to shareholders, even at the expense of customers' best interest or well-being.

 

"Greed is good" is not the credo of a group of Wall Street villains modeled on Wall Street's Gordon Gekko. Even well-meaning, socially committed executives in public companies are accountable for maximizing profits to the greadiest villains of them all: us, the average investors. The older we get, the "greedier", since we start living on our stock-based savings and their returns. 

 

 

B-Corporations take a different fiduciary responsibility: they must report and be accountable for social and environmental impact, and reflect it in the financial statements, disclosed to all their shareholders.

 

Unlike charities, B-Corporations have no tax exemptions, but other benefits that matter more in the longer term and in the 21st century market, such as:

  • Brand and stock value 

  • Attractiveness for angel capital investors

  • Employee engagement and commitment

  • Customers' loyalty

 

 

Want examples?

 

 

Here's a well-known one: Ben & Jerry's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But also new, quick-rising startups lik Kickstarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or Revolution Foods, catering healthy food to school-age kids in 40 states of the United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to learn more about it?

 

Contact the Performance Improvement Institute 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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