For years I have been advocating on something that even the corporate mastermind Michael Porter calls “the case for letting business solve social problems”. We should do it not just because it can be profitable, but because businesses have efficiency at scale whereas nonprofits have efficacy – and government, well, has to trade off.
Luckily for me and you, everyone and the planet, and luckily for capitalism itself, there is a worldwide movement called B Corporations that supports and certifies companies which employ a series of progressive practices. Criteria include taking better care of workers, community, clients and the world at large – embracing economical, social and environmental benefits. Some governments already have regulated the incorporation of such special businesses that intend to be the best for the world (that´s how they believe they become the best in the world).
Going B: who is certified
“You may say I´m a dreamer, but I´m not the only one”: the official directory lists 2026 certified b corps accross 130 industries in 50 countries. Only in Brazil, where I come from, 45 companies have certified as #bcorps and they are not only nonprofits: the list includes the giant Natura, investment firm Vox Capital and famous web startups like Geekie and 99jobs. In Canada, where I am living, there are 170 certified b corps. The list includes famous brands like the Ian Martin Group, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the social media technology champion Hootsuite – which is poised for an IPO.
Going big: trading publicly through IPO
Speaking of publicly traded companies, February 2017 saw the Laureate Education benefit corporation raise USD 490 million by offering its shares in the Nasdaq stock market. The world famous e-commerce platform Etsy is also a certified b corp and a public company.
It all means “don´t do evil”, planting a tree or volunteering some hours is not enough to do good and to do well. The world, management and capitalism have all evolved so much in the past decade in order to respect requirements and foster true prosperity. Now it is time to evolve our mindset, our skillset and our public debate. We are past a matter of doubting whether going good works and pays off. Because, honestly, how many companies grew and became public and are not that well or interesting for the world.
Going #bcorp is the new going big. Big as in tough, big as in bold, big as in great.