By Iman Usmani, BSC Associate and BS in Statistics (’19)
March is B Corp Month in the United States and Canada, a month dedicated to celebrating Certified B Corps and the B Corp community. The B Corp Month celebration means something different for different part of the B Economy, but the overall goal is to celebrate the movement and spread the word.
What’s happening at NC State?
The Spring 2019 B Corp Clinic is underway. This semester includes Counter Culture Coffee, HQ Raleigh, NARA Collective, Project Shift, and Sunsense Solar. The Clinic has over 25 students this semester and participants are from NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, and SKEMA Business School. Students are working with businesses from across the country to help them strengthen their social and environmental impact. Join us for the final presentations of the Spring 2019 B Corp Clinic, if you’re interested in finding out more.
BSC Director, Jessica Thomas, along with her colleague Jeff Pollack, Liz Tracy, Phd Candidate in I/O Psychology and Ryan Honeyman, Partner at LIFT Economy, are continuing their research project will study the systemic impact of investing in place-based, women and people of color-owned social ventures. The project is funded by the Ford Foundation and is in collaboration with LIFT Economy, a certified B Corp.
Along with a team of Jenkins MBA students that includes Heather Alaspa, Nikki Hensley, and Jeff Terebey, Jessica Thomas is working to develop a companion teaching guide to accompany the release of the second edition of The B Corp Handbook, authored by Ryan Honeyman and Dr. Tiffany Jana. The Handbook will be published by Berrett-Koehler, a certified B Corp, in late April. The teaching guide will be published by Poole College BSC in conjunction with the release of the handbook.
What’s happening in North Carolina?
On a more local scale, Southern Energy Management in the Triangle area hosted its own B Corp Happy Hour in celebration of B Corp Month. Some of our own BSC associates attended the event with like-minded professionals. Jeff Tereby, a second-year MBA candidate and BSC Associate attended the event, said “one of the greatest benefits of the B Corp movement is being involved with the B Corp community and having the opportunity to meet and interact with others who share a passion for improving the world around them through business. The B Corp Happy Hour allows those in the local community to get together, network, and share experiences with one another, which further strengthens this community regardless of your company’s industry.”
Along with the local events, the B Local Triangle introduced a new leadership team for 2019. The leadership team includes Maria Kingery, Preet Mankad, Alisa Herr, and Ben Bradley, an NC State graduate and former B Corp Clinic member. Collectively, the group will focus on events, communications and education for the NC B Corps. Find out more about the NC B Corp community and sign up to get updates here.
What’s happening across the country?
This month, B Lab is featuring a voter guide on their website to help people find B Corps to support. The guide comes from a short quiz that asks for your preferences in order to determine how to best use your money to “vote” for companies and practices. With every dollar a consumer spends, they are “voting” for which company practice they are supporting, and by being a B Corp customer, a consumer is supporting the best practices in environmental and social impact.
B Corps have been working towards having a positive social impact as well as a positive environmental impact. B Corps have been leaders in environmental action which was demonstrated in the B Corp Collaborative Change Action Strategy, an event where short and long-term plans were made to address the threat of climate change. The Summit had more than 35 certified B Corps participate, with the ultimate goal of the summit being to redefine the idea of success and include environmental action in its definition.
B Corp Month is a time to spread the word about B Corps and the movement to use business in a transparent and effective way. Companies and consumers alike are pushing the movement along through these events and ultimately through voting with their dollar by choosing to support B Corps and people using business as a force for good, down the street, and across the country.