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B Corp Handbook Instructor’s Guide Introduction


Approximately 35 minutes reading time

The introduction to the second edition of The B Corp Handbook explores recent development in the B Corp movement, including international growth of the movement, the growing role of investors, increased engagement from multinationals and in public markets, benefit corporation governance, growth of academic initiatives, impact management, creation of “Best For” and “+B” campaigns around the world, and the inclusive economy challenge. Get to know the authors and their views on the B Corp movement. Gain an understanding of why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is so critical to the “business for good” movement and is integrated throughout the 2nd version of the B Corp Handbook.

Read the introduction to the second edition of The B Corp Handbook.

Discussion questions

  • Compare and contrast B Corp certification and benefit corp incorporation.
  • What are the characteristics that first come to mind of B Corps? Do you think these are accurate assumptions?
  • Does thinking or talking about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) make you uncomfortable? If so, what is the fear you have about this topic? If helpful, reference Ryan’s section about what antiracist leaders have taught him about leaning into discomfort.
  • Does Ryan’s argument about why white people should be more involved in racial justice work resonate with you? Why or why not?
  • Do you agree with Ryan’s belief that DEI should be integrated into every aspect of building a better business, not just a side topic? Why or why not?
  • What thoughts or emotions did you experience from Dr. Jana’s story about the dramatic shifts in their life and the urgency they now feel around DEI?
  • What would an inclusive economy look like to you?



B Corps – A new vision for profit and social change MB Financial, Jake Schbur, March 6, 2018.

  • Describes the main pros and cons of becoming a B Corporation including why companies are choosing to become a B Corporation.

The B Economy Certified B Corporation.

  • Outlines what is “The B Economy” and ways that it can grow into an incredibly network of leaders across industries.

The Rise Of B Corps Highlights The Emergence Of A New Way Of Doing Business Forbes, Michele Giddens, August 3, 2018.

  • Highlights some research that aligns with the emergence of B Corps and existing success stories of certified B Corps.

Benefit Corporation and L3C Adoption: A Survey Social Entrepreneurs Newsletter, Kate Cooney, Justin Koushyar, Matthew Lee, and Haskell Murray, December 5, 2014.

  • “New research offers insights into how social enterprise legal forms are emerging in the United States.”


B Corp YouTube Channel (various lengths, 1 min to 60 mins), The Official YouTube Channel of B Corporations, companies using the power of business as a force for good.

B Corp 2007-2017, October 3, 2017 (2:35 mins), The driving force behind B Corp and using business as a force for good, why we must more towards an inclusive economy, and statistics of the impact made thus far.

B Corp Anthem 2018, April 16, 2018 (1:56 mins), The reasons why businesses are joining the B Corp movement and why investors and consumers should care.


Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 75: Raising the Bar: Native-American-Owned B Corp Tanka Bar Restores Land, Lives, Livelihoods, and Cultures, (37:45, Aug 15, 2017). Erin Axelrod, a LIFT Economy Partner, speaks with CEO Karlene Hunter and President Mark Tilsen of Native American Natural Foods and discusses how a Lakota “give-away” celebration launched Tanka Bar into a national company, the creativity and resiliency of the Lakota people, despite their current status among the top 3 poorest counties in the U.S., as well as the ecological benefits of buffalo on the land how prairies are one of the largest carbon sinks in the world.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 6: Jenny Kassan: How Women Entrepreneurs can Raise Mission-Aligned Capital, (48:08, May 29, 2018). Jenny Kassan, founder of LIFT Economy Law, describes how mission-driven women entrepreneurs can raise the “right” types of capital from investors. She also discusses different funding routes and how crowdfunding rules are creating more opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

Other Resources

B Lab’s Inclusive Economy Challenge – The Inclusive Economy Challenge is a call to action for all certified B Corps around the world to making at least three measurable improvements metrics DEI metrics in the B Impact Assessment.

Section 1: Overview

Section 1 provides a brief history of the B Corp movement, a description of what B Corps are and why they are important, an overview of an emergent concept called the B Economy, a discussion about what investors think about B Corps, and an analysis of the challenges of the B Corp model for multinationals and publicly traded companies.