Recently, I’ve been chatting with some entrepreneurs who own B Corporations, or B Corps, for a glimpse at what it’s like to be in business as this particular entity. Unlike other entities like Corporations and LLCs that are strictly for profit, B Corps are a mixture of profit meets giving back to society. Their goal is to be a positive instrument for change and they meet that goal with an underlying purpose of meeting social and environmental standards.
While the entrepreneurs I have spoken to have admitted that becoming certified to file for B Corp status isn’t easy, they are all extremely happy with their decision. So happy, and fulfilled, that it left me wondering if the key to having it all in work/life balance is to become a B Corporation. `While this may be just a theory, here are a few of the benefits that come with building businesses that matter.
The “B The Change” balancing act
This is the anthem for B Corporations, one where the power of business is used to solve social and environmental problems. Moreover, regardless of the amount of sales made, the business still retains its original mission and doesn’t let dollar signs cloud where it stands on issues that matter. This is where the global B Corp movement steps in. B Corp certification helps consumers identify changemakers disrupting the industry for the good. By being a certified B Corp, you’re able to balance both — making money and making a difference — without worrying that you might focus too much on one over the other.
B Corps are held accountable for their actions
You can form an LLC for your business with the intent to additionally give back to the community, but if you don’t, it’s nothing you would be penalized for. The same can’t be said for B Corps. Because this entity is almost like a hybrid of a standard corporation and a nonprofit, it is legally required to meet the standards that it initially proposed it would. If a B Corp can’t show how it benefits the public, it won’t be able to stay in compliance.
Luckily, this is seldom a worry for entrepreneurs that choose to incorporate as this entity. Working with a B Corp means working with an entity that has the legal framework that allows entrepreneurs to remain true to their social goals. They’re aware that their business will have to be more transparent and held accountable for its actions than other companies — and they accept the challenge.
B Corps allow you to follow your passion
It sounds simple enough, but ultimately this is why anyone gets into business. It all starts with a dream that could benefit and impact others for the greater good. Then you consider how that idea can be fleshed out into a business that you can run and watch transform a community as much as it does give back to the area. When you love what you do, then it doesn’t feel like work. If your life passion is something that can benefit the public and the environment, that makes it less work and more life when you run a B Corp.
Carlton Coleman is the owner of SIGN WITHIN, an ecommerce company that seeks to provide great online shopping experiences and to support non-profit organizations that serve the whole of humanity.