Last month was B Corp month, and to celebrate we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our very own B Corp businesses that have come through the Great British Entrepreneur Award’s programme.

So, firstly, what is a B Corp? 

B Corp certification is awarded to businesses that meet the highest standards of accountability when it comes to their social and environmental impact and throughout March, certified B Corp businesses around the globe came together to celebrate what it is like to make businesses a better place for the planet. B-corps use business as a force for good. So whilst success in a traditional business is all about profit, B-Corps also measure its impact on people and the planet. But why only celebrate them in march? 

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards held a session with a few B Corp founders to find out top tips and advice on how your business can become fully certified, the advantages and benefits that come with being a B Corp, and the effects this can have on your businesses. 

Gareth Jones, founder of TownSquare, says that “Being a B Corp is a great way of showing that what you’re doing as a business is being used as a force for good” 

Over the past decade, TownSquare has supported thousands of freelancers, new company directors and aspiring entrepreneurs in starting up, raising investment and growing their businesses. Town Square was founded in 2017 to take their innovative, community-focused approach around the UK – to create a TownSq in every town square. 

Jo-Anne Chidley, Co-Founder of Beauty Kitchen went on to talk about how the importance of B Corps has grown in recent years, and why it’s beneficial for your business. “For me, B Corps are the future of business.” she said, “When you hear about other B Corps you find there’s a balance between the shareholder, financial side of the business, but there’s just as much balance on the environment and human element, or social fairness. 10 years ago this wasn’t as important (purpose-led business), but retailers, other businesses and consumers are now asking for it”

Beauty Kitchen, founded in 2014 is on a mission to create the most effective, natural and sustainable beauty products in the world - they do this by using natural ingredients in their products, ensuring the product creates results, and using sustainable packaging.  

Pippa Murray, founder of Pip & Nut agreed that B Corps and purpose-led businesses are the future of business, and explained some of the reasons becoming a B Corp was beneficial to her and her business, “The thing I really love about being a B Corp, and why it appealed to me is that there is continuous improvement, getting you certification is just the start. It’s about continuously looking at how you can improve your business process and thinking about the triple bottom line, and not just profit. The triple bottom line being people, planet and profit” she said, “I think it will be the norm in the next 20 years, and it should be”

So, how can you become a B Corp? 

Firstly, Gareth Jones says, “You don’t become a B Corp because it’s a tick boxing exercise, you become a B Corp because you are a B Corp, and what you want to do is to make sure this is baked into the way you do things” 

Becoming a B Corp is a commitment, and that commitment is not as easy as you may think. Along with the certifications comes the responsibility to meet high ethical, sustainable, and purpose-led values in your business, so it is vital that you are dedicated to adhering to and promoting these values. 

There are three steps to becoming a B Corp;

Complete the assessment

Demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing a risk review. Multinational corporations must also meet baseline requirement standards.

Make a legal commitment by changing your corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit corporation status if available in your jurisdiction.

Verification & Transparency

Exhibit transparency by allowing information about your performance to be measured against B Lab’s standards, to be publicly available on your B Corp profile, on B Lab’s website.

Find out more about the process of achieving your B Corp certification here. 

B Corps are continuing to grow, and the importance of them is becoming more apparent, people are now buying into more sustainable, ethical brands, and we look forward to seeing the introduction of new B Corp businesses in the future.  

For more advice and information on B Corp businesses, watch the full Lighbulb session here