The USA has finally Joined the Social Entrepreneur Movement – How B Corps are Empowering Business as a Force for Good

When I started The Global Commute 6 months ago, I was not even the slightest bit aware of what was happening around me in the world of social entrepreneurship. I did know that travel, like many other industries, was moving toward a trend of social accountability, sustainability and volunteerism. I also appreciated companies that were doing things right (like Warby Parker, Patagonia, Wholefoods and Toms Shoes to name a few).

So I asked myself, “Could there be a missing link here?” I knew one thing – there was a lack of information available to the traveler for finding these cool companies around the world….so that is where I started.

As I continued researching though, I quickly discovered that I had just pealed back one thin layer of a huge world that is teaming with further possibilities. I have to admit that I am extremely excited (and perhaps naive) about what The Global Commute could become in this new age, and my head is spinning with ideas and dreams.

A Global Shift that is coming to the USA

In just so happens that we are on the brink of a global shift that has reached the United States. Universities like Harvard and Duke are forming research groups and education programs fueled by the topic. Crowds of people outside of the higher-education realm are also coming together to support the movement – like the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) which will hold its 2015 Social Enterprise Summit in September of this year.

These numbers don’t lie: Certified B Corps has evaluated over 1,297 companies in 41 countries. The growth and potential has been so apparent that B Analytics was formed as a side-company to help these corporations report on their impact and seek further support through research. The info-graphic below (featured on their website) shows how their model works.

Certified b Corps Model - Courtesy of bcorporation.net

Certified b Corps Model – Courtesy of bcorporation.net

On a grassroots level, individual interest is peaking as well. When you type in “social entrepreneurship” on meetup.com – over 256,441 members in 426 cities around the world pop up. Those numbers are extraordinary for a relatively young topic that’s just gaining steam.

USA Legislation Hops on the Bandwagon

It just so happens that the U.S. government has also joined the momentum by passing a new bill that recognizes a third “hybrid” class of benefit corporations. These “b corps” are modeled after the Certified B Corps rules and offer a new distinction outside of the nonprofit model for businesses seeking change. I must admit the politics don’t get my blood pumping… but this truly is exciting for me as a travel and business nerd. So far, 27 states have approved b corps and 14 are in the works:

B Corps Legislation Map - Courtesy of benefitcorp.net

B Corps Legislation Map – Courtesy of benefitcorp.net

In a recent article by Duke Business School’s Impact Investing Initiative (Casei3),  adjunct professor Cathy Clark shared,  “Over 25 states [at the time] have added benefit corporation legislation in the last five years so that new companies can incorporate as a benefit company that provides benefit to its communities and employees, and most have had bipartisan support at the state level. That is a huge change in a really short period of time.”

This is massive growth shows just how much potential is concealed in social entrepreneurship.  If you get giddy about cool companies making change and traveling the world to explore them…then I am sure you will discover that The Global Commute is a huge resource for you. The site is still in its “baby stages”, but we are growing along with the trend and hope you will join us for the ride!

– Thanks for joining the journey…beyond the bucket list.

Before you go, check out this great little video from Certified B Corp (They are growing so fast, this new video’s statistics are already out dated!).

 

P.S. – If any of you are interested in learning more about becoming a social entrepreneur – join me at SEA’s 2015 Summit! I would love to see you there.

 


Artwork Credit:
(all screen shots were taken from the following websites for editorial and education purposes).
USA B Crop Legislation Map: courtesy of benefitcorp.net
Certified B Corp Model Infographic: courtesy of www.bcorporation.net

2 thoughts on “The USA has finally Joined the Social Entrepreneur Movement – How B Corps are Empowering Business as a Force for Good

  1. Great article. I am so excited about the direction that the USA is taking toward the support of social enterprises – it’s definitely going to be the next trend! When do you think that Corporate Social Responsibility will stop being a tack on for big corporations and start being a main part of their models?

    1. Hi Kathleen – Thanks for the great question! Social Enterprises are the next big thing. It’s a really exciting time to travel because more and more we will be able to make a positive impact on the world around us, just by supporting these great companies. Big corporations may or may not decide to make a social mission a main part of their models, however in the next 5 years I think the pressures will be there for companies to lean more toward supporting their work forces and the communities in which they live. The creation of the b corp is a great starting point for the USA. It will be fun to watch it all play out!

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