B Corp Handbook Instructor’s Guide Resources

Each section contains supplemental content including suggested cases, videos, podcasts, articles, links to relevant websites and other resources.

Introduction

Articles

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.”

Videos

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.

Podcasts

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.

View introduction summary, discussion prompts, activities and resources

Section 1: Overivew

Articles

The Meaning of Social Innovation, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship, J. Gregory Dees, May 30, 2001. Explores current theories of entrepreneurship and some of the key defining characteristics of social entrepreneurs.

Why Companies Are Becoming B Corporations Harvard Business Review, Suntae Kim, Matthew J. Karlesky, Christopher G. Myers, Todd Schifeling, June 17, 2016. Describes brief structure and history of B Corps and the ways company leaders can use B Corps to accelerate change while maximizing profit.

Business-Building Lessons From The Largest B Corp In The World Forbes, Simon Mainwaring, September 28, 2018. A detailed look into certain characteristics of B Corps that all companies should consider.

The Value of B Corps: What Investors Need to Know, Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Heather Fitzgerald, March 13, 2018. Discusses why investors do and should care about companies practicing sustainability and how this can increase profits.

Just Good Business: An Investor’s Guide to B Corps, by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Patagonia, Inc., and Caprock. Defines the investor landscape and explores the value to investors of certified B Corps and benefit corporations.

A Legislative Guide to Benefit Corporations, by Patagonia, Inc., Vermont Law School, and The Yale Environmental Law Association. Explores the benefits of incorporating as a benefit corporation, economic impacts of passing benefit legislation and the difference between benefit corps and other corporate forms.

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Certified B Corporations and Benefit Corporations, Yale Center for Business and the Environment and Patagonia, Inc. This guide helps entrepreneurs navigate whether going “B” is a good fit for their business and how to go about securing the designation.

Should your startup take the public benefit or B corp route? Tech Crunch, Mick Bain, 2017. Explains some misconceptions of B Corps including why using CSR practices does not mean sacrificing profits.

Videos

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.

B Corporation – Vote Everyday Campaign Video, November 11, 2018  (50 sec), “When you buy from, work for and do business with Certified B Corporations, you vote for what you believe in.”

TED talk with B Lab co-founder Jay Coen Gilbert, December 1, 2010 (20 mins), “Jay Coen Gilbert shares his vision to harness the power of business to solve society’s problems through B Corporations — a new standard labeling socially and environmentally responsible companies.”

B Corporation Founders Video, September 18, 2008 (5 mins), Passionate stories and testimonies from the founders and employees of B Corporation.

Podcasts

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. 111: Lisa Curtis: Nutrition, Livelihood, and Environmental Restoration Through Moringa, (48:08, May 29, 2018). Andrew Baskin from the LIFT Economy speaks with Lisa Curtis, founder of Kuli Kuli, which manufactures moringa-based food products that not only aid people with incorporating more vegetables/greens into their diets, but also empowers women-led farming co-operatives all over the world to drive economic growth, women’s empowerment, and sustainable agricultural development.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 151: Amelia Swan Baxter: Building The Next Economy with WholeTrees, (39:43, Mar 29, 2019). Co-founder of WholeTrees, Amelia Swan Baxter speaks with Erin Axelrod from the LIFT Economy and discusses how WholeTrees provides an ecological, economic, social, and aesthetic benefit. Amelia also describes how the character and inner work of company leaders can ripple throughout an entire organization.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 141: Brock Dolman: Thirsty for a Balanced Water Budget, (47:02, Dec 25, 2018). Brock Dolman, co-director of the WATER Institute, Permaculture Design Program and Wildlands Program, speaks with Kevin Bayuk about ecological, biological, and economic importance of water, how we should go about maximizing/stretching out water budgets at various scales, and provides suggestions for transitioning ecologically from viscous cycles to virtuous cycles and personal resilience strategies

What Works with Tara McMullin: EP 132: Choosing The B Corp Life with Buzz Food Truck Founder Michael Sirianni (43 Minutes), “Today on What Works, we welcome Michael Sirianni, owner of Buzz, a mobile rock-and-roll inspired sandwich shop serving the Lancaster, Pennsylvania community. But Buzz is about so much more than egg and cheese sandwiches: as a B Corp certified business, Michael runs his restaurant-on-wheels a bit differently than most.”

That Supplement Show: EP 15: What’s It Mean to Be a B Corp?, May 7, 2018 (29 min), “Chances are good that you’ve encountered the “circle B” seal before… but, do you know what it stands for? Learn why businesses are lining up for a chance to B the Change, and understand just what it means when you choose goods and services boasting that capital B.”

How I  Built This Podcast, Warby Parker (former B Corp), February 19, 2018 (32:52), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

How I Build This Podcast, Stonyfield Farm, October 2, 2017 (1:01:15), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

View section 1 summary, discussion prompts, activities and resources

Section 2: Benefits of Becoming a B Corp

Articles

The Business Case for Caring – A Helio Analysis of Certified B Corps Circle Up, William Dowling, June 1, 2018. How B Corps are meeting the needs of people who want to know about the source of their products.

Mission Driven Business? Here’s Why To Become A B Corp, According To Four Certified Companies Forbes, Sara Weinreb, April 30, 2018. Certified B Corps have taken the extra commitment to make the internal and external values of their company valuable and positively impactful.

Social Seal of Approval Lures Talent: Employers Tout Their B Corp Label as a Credential to Compete for Young Hires Wall Street Journal, Lindsay Gellman and Rachel Feinzeig, November 12, 2019. Job seekers, specifically millennials, are seeking employment with companies who place a high value on social impact.

It Pays to Become a B Corporation Harvard Business Review ($8.95), Richard Stammer, December 6, 2016. Explores how becoming a B Corp can help attract new consumers, provide opportunities for cost-savings, and attrack to top talent.

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.”

The Surprising Competitive Advantage of the B Corp Huffington Post, Shane Paul Neil, December 6, 2017. How being a certified B Corp can make a company more ethical, provides a marketing vantage, makes a company more appealing to investors, and connects companies with the B Corp community.

B Corps on the Rise, Nikkei Asian Review, Makoto Kajiwara, June 30, 2016. How the values of B Corps have been needed for many years and are now a guiding way to grow an economy.

Videos

Jay Coen Gilbert, TedTalk – On Better Businesses, Dec 1, 2010, (19:35) “Jay Coen Gilbert shares his vision to harness the power of business to solve society’s problems through B Corporations — a new standard labeling socially and environmentally responsible companies. B Corps will help corporations be profitable while solving society’s problems.”

Why Seventh Generation is a B Corp, April 16, 2012 (4:47 mins), Jeffery Hollender explains why Seventh Generation is a Certified B Corporation.

Comet Skateboards, April 10, 2012, (2:30 mins), Comet’s core mission to provide sustainable skateboards and how their values to be have a positive impact in the community align with the values of B Corporations.

Podcasts

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 137: Leah Penniman: Farming While Black, (59:14, Nov 27, 2018). Leah Penniman, author of “Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land,” talks with Andrew Baskin and shares with him stories of unquantifiably valuable moments of healing of intergenerational trauma through relationship with land for people of color.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 86: Jonathan Rosenthal: Transforming Stories of Oppression Into #NowWeOwn, (43:07, Oct 31, 2017). Jonathan Rosenthal, Executive Director of the New Economy Coalition, speaks with Ryan Honeyman about his journey from a consumer co-op movement to challenging systemic oppression before ultimately moving on to the New Economy Coalition. He also shares his leadership advice around becoming a lifelong learner and shares his perspective on the current state of systemic racism and the Trump era and how to engage in healing and building work within that context.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 6: Jenny Kassan: How Women Entrepreneurs can Raise Mission-Aligned Capital, (39:44, Jan 6, 2016). 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.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 41: Andrew Baskin: Reflections from a Next Economy Millennial, (52:58, Oct 16, 2018), Andrew Baskin, a LIFT Economy Fellow, represents a core constituency of young, passionate, and activated social entrepreneurs that are helping use business as a force for good. In this conversation with Ryan Honeyman, Andrew and Ryan touch on a wide range of topics, such as leveraging sweat equity & resourcefulness instead of financial capital, current benefits & drawbacks for Next Economy millennials in higher education, and valuing the knowledge systems and intellectual capital of marginalized cultures.

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: B Corp certification can help companies connect with conscious consumers (23 mins). “Conscious consumerism continues to rise in America with more shoppers saying they want to reward companies that “do good,” unfortunately for companies that are embracing this trend a recent survey found many people don’t know how to find socially responsible products or determine which companies to support.”

What Works with Tara McMullin: EP 132: Choosing The B Corp Life with Buzz Food Truck Founder Michael Sirianni (43 mins). “[W]e welcome Michael Sirianni, owner of Buzz, a mobile rock-and-roll inspired sandwich shop serving the Lancaster, Pennsylvania community. But Buzz is about so much more than egg and cheese sandwiches: as a B Corp certified business, Michael runs his restaurant-on-wheels a bit differently than most.”

That Supplement Show: EP 15: What’s It Mean to Be a B Corp? (29 mins). “Chances are good that you’ve encountered the “circle B” seal before… but, do you know what it stands for? Learn why businesses are lining up for a chance to B the Change, and understand just what it means when you choose goods and services boasting that capital B.”

BDC Podcasts: B Corp Effect (25 to 35 mins). “B Corp entrepreneurs are redefining business success. They use their profitable businesses to have a positive impact on their communities, their employees and the environment. Listen to their inspiring stories.”

How I Built This, Ben & Jerry’s / Unilever, November 20, 2017 (58:35 mins), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

How I Built This Podcast, Patagonia, December 12, 2106 (27:16 mins), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

Other Resources

Overview of Changes in Version 6 of the BIA, B Lab. This document provides a list of the key topics that have been approved for changes from Version 5 of the B Impact Assessment to Version 6, scheduled for launch in January 15th, 2019.

Ethical Capitalism: Shibusawa Eiichi and Business Leadership in Global Perspective, Book available for purchase, ISBN-10: 1487501064, ISBN-13: 978-1487501068, Mr. Eiichi Shibusawa, who established over 500 companies, believed companies cannot survive without society, Ethical Capitalism is a volume of essays that tackles the thought, work, and legacy of Shibusawa Eiichi and offers international comparisons with the Japanese experience. Eiichi advocated for gapponshugi, a principle that emphasized developing the right business, with the right people, in service to the public good.

B Lab Regional Websites

Section 3: The B Impact Assessment

Articles

New Belgium, Embracing Open-Book Management to Fuel Employee Engagement and Corporate Sustainability, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Jessica Yinka Thomas & Anne Claire Broughton, February 14, 2012. Highlighting and describing the benefits of open-book management that enables employees to feel more engaged with their organization.

Pending B Corp Status, B Lab. Outlines how companies that have been in business for fewer than 12 months, can apply for Pending B Corp status.

3 Ways the Top-Performing B Corps Improve their Impact, B Lab, Elizabeth Freeburg. Three suggestions of ways to improve a company’s B Impact Score, including “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renewable,” prioritizing employee wellness, and formalizing policies.

Allbirds’ Reported Billion-Dollar Valuation: What Makes These Strange Birds Fly, Forbes, Jay Coen Gilbert, January 9, 2019. Allbird faced many obstacles to become the successful, sustainable company they are today. Allbird investors were fully supportive of management’s decision to become a certified B Corp.

Athleta’s CEO On Balancing Strength With Softness, Fast Company, Aaron Hurst, May 24, 2017. Athleta, a certified B Corp, values their employees at all levels as an integral part of their structure.

3 steps to becoming a certified B Corp, BDC. B Corporations are highly successful and the main three steps to becoming a certified B Corp are believing in the power of business as a force for good, taking the B Corp assessment, and changing a company’s articles of incorporation.

Videos

Greyston Bakery, April 10, 2012 (2:23 mins), “With a progressive, open-door hiring policy, Greyston welcomes people who may have faced barriers to employment before. The profits from the bakery are funneled back into the community, funding programs such as after school care, low income housing, and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.”

Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission, January 12, 2015, (3:16 mins), “Ben & Jerry’s operates on a three-part mission that aims to create linked prosperity for everyone that’s connected to our business: suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors alike.”

Podcasts

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 142: Jed Emerson: The Purpose of Capital, (1:00:14, Jan 15, 2019). Ryan Honeyman from The LIFT Economy connects with Jed Emerson, originator of Blended Value and Total Portfolio Management, to discuss why we often get sidetracked into the “how” of impact investing, instead of deeply exploring “why” we are doing it. He also imparts a request for listeners as they think about how to actualize his thoughts/advice in their daily lives.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 131: Donna Morton: A Chance to Change Finance for Good, (52:58, Oct 16, 2018). Donna Morton, CEO and co-founder of Change Finance, sits down with Andrew Baskin of the LIFT Economy to talk about the backstory of Change Finance and the innovation of financial products stemming from women & marginalized groups, how ETFs can be leveraged by financial activists to take back our economy with love, respect, and dignity while boycotting the economy that is killing people and planet, as well as her unapologetic embrace of rendering love and care and empathy in business and finance at a system-wide level.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 113: Jay Coen Gilbert: B Corps & Fixing the Source Code Error in the DNA of Business, (57:03, June 13, 2018). In this episode, you will hear from Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder and former CEO of AND1 as well at the co-founder of B Lab, the non-profit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 47: John Abrams: Behind the Scenes at the World’s Top Scoring B Corp, (48:02, Jan 14, 2017). John Abrams, founder and CEO of South Mountain Co, the highest-scoring B Corp in the world, sits down with Shawn Berry from the LIFT Economy to discuss John’s background, climate change and the need for solutions, and the triple bottom line peer business support network among a host of other topics.

Maximizing the BIA for B Corp Certification Webinar (61 minutes), “Learn how to make the most of the new B Impact Assessment platform to measure a company’s positive impact and complete the review process. Hear what it takes to go from signing up to completing certification or recertification.”

Flory Wilson on Metrics, GIIRS and B-Analytics  (45 minutes), “Flory Wilson is the Director, International for GIIRS at B Lab. She joined B Lab in April 2010, working on the core team that has launched the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) Ratings & Analytics.”

How I Built This Podcast, Eileen Fisher, February 25, 2019 (47 minutes), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

How I Built This Podcast, KickStarter, December 31, 2018 (43 minutes), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

Other Resources

B Lab’s FAQs on B Impact Assessment

King Arthur Flour Benefit Corporation Annual Report 2017

View section 3 summary, discussion prompts, activities and resources

Section 4: The Quick Start Guide

Articles

We’re all passengers in a billionaire hijacking’ says the critic who has the world’s richest people buzzing,” Business Insider, Richard Feloni, February 1, 2019. Interview with Anand Giridharadas, author and professor whose book “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.”

Silver Chef and Its Village, Medium, B Lab Australia & New Zealand, November 8, 2017. One of the best places to work in Australia shares why they are a force for good and how they differ from their competitors.

How to Sell Without Selling Out Secure a Successful Exit, Keep Company’s Purpose Secure, B the Change, Jay Coen Gilbert, September 20, 2016. “How can a purpose-driven company have a successful exit without losing commitment to the purpose that defines them or losing the trust of the community that supports them?”

The Surprising Competitive Advantage of the B Corp, Huffington Post, Shane Paul Neil, December 6, 2017. Discusses how becoming a certified B Corp can help a company strengthen their ethics program, provide a marketing vantage, make a company more appealing to investors, and better connect a company with the B Corp community.

Learn From the Best: A Roundup of Best For The World, B the Change, June 11, 2018. Best for the World overall honorees’ share their best practices and advice for other purpose-driven businesses.

Videos

Introduction to Better World Books, May 12, 2008 (4:26 mins). Better World Books’ business model to repurpose used books and reinvest profits to improve world literacy.

Ben & Jerry’s Becomes a B Corp, October 22, 2012,  (1:11 mins), Ben & Jerry’s joins the B Corp community to be part of the community that values sustainable business models.

Podcasts

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 10: $20 Million & Change: Phil Graves on Patagonia’s New Venture Capital Fund, (41:08, Feb 13, 2016). Phil and Ryan discuss the motivators behind Patagonia’s decision to start a venture capital fund and how this aligns with Patagonia’s overall mission to use business to help solve the environmental crisis.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 27: Kate Williams: Global Movement of Companies Investing 1% for the Planet, (36:56, Aug 18, 2016). 1% for the Planet has grown into a global movement of more than 1200 member companies in 48 countries, all donating at least 1% of annual sales to sustainability initiatives. Shawn Berry of LIFT Economy and 1% for the Planet’s CEO Kate Williams discuss the state of the movement and what the future might look like.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 149: Funmilola Fagbamila: Black Lives Matter, White Allyship, & Emotional Intelligence, (33:07, Mar 5, 2019). Erin Axelrod of the LIFT Economy talks with Funmilola Fagbamila to explore the roots of the Black Lives Matter Movement, the myth of meritocracy in America, how emotional intelligence helps us to hear each other across ideological differences, and suggestions for supportive white allyship.

Next Economy Now Podcast, Ep. 99: Kevin Bayuk: Our Journey to an Economy that Works for the Benefit of All Life, (53:58, Feb 12, 2018). A co-founding member of the LIFT team, Kevin discusses how a shift in his worldview from a proliferation of problems/suffering to one of countless opportunities to solve problems has inspired a movement of solutions. In this discussion with Ryan Honeyman, Kevin also provides LIFT’s long term vision and resources from which the team derives inspiration.

Maximizing the BIA for B Corp Certification Webinar (61 minutes), B Lab. Learn how to make the most of the new B Impact Assessment platform to measure a company’s positive impact and complete the review process. Hear what it takes to go from signing up to completing certification or recertification.

How I Built This Podcast, TOMS Shoes, February 11, 2019, (56 minutes), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

How I Built This Podcast, Method, November 22, 2018 (17 minutes), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

How I Built This Podcast, Method, October 8, 2018 (58 minutes), Guy Raz explores stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

View section 4 summary, discussion prompts, activities and resources