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Becoming a B Leader... (Or B Corps, an intro)

· Business

I'm now officially a B Leader! "What is a B Leader?", I hear you ask. Well, before I can tell you about B Leaders, I need to make sure that you know about B Corporations? You don't??? You have been missing out, my friend.

B Corporations are businesses out there to make money, but also make the world a better place. B Corp is a certification process, kind of like Fairtrade or the Soil Association, but it goes deeper and wider than that.

To become eligible for certification, companies must score 80 or above on the B Impact Assessment (BIA). The BIA looks at everything from your supply chain to the diversity of your workforce, the positive impact you are creating in the local community and how much environmental impact your business is having, and so much more. By choosing to certify, you are also committing to a legal change. In the UK, this involves legally changing your articles of association to encompass the company's approach to serving its stakeholders, not just shareholders. It's a holistic approach to embedding sustainability principles within your organisation and I LOVE IT.

Here is a short video overview of what B Corps are all about:

What's even better about this movement is that it is not elitist. The BIA is available online for any organisation to use. If you want to just see how your business is doing, benchmark or give yourself targets to move to a more positive approach to doing business, you can do this FOR FREE, whenever you want. If you want help and support in reaching certification, you can reach out to a B Leader (more on that later!) or to your local B Lab for help. Certification fees are tiered based on the revenue of your organisation and in the UK they start at just £500 for an established company (or as low as £250 for a pending B Corp with less than 12 months of expenses on the books).

Certifying as a B Corp has additional benefits. You get access to the B Hive, which is an online resource where certified B Corps can share knowledge and experiences... and they do on everything from appraisal processes to supply chain. You can also socialise in person at B Corp events. In the UK, they run regular socials and a yearly 'retreat'. I went to the one this year at West Lexham and I had a blast – we danced, laughed, attended workshops, ate great food and I got to spend time with some of the most interesting people I've met in a long time. It's not just a certification, it's a community.

Want to know some brands who are already certified B Corps? You can certify if your organisation has just one person (you!), but there are also some big names in the ranks, including Patagonia, Danone UK, Triodos Bank, Divine Chocolate, The Big Issue and so many more...

So what's a B Leader? A B Leader is someone who is trained to help and support you through the B Corp certification process. And I am now one! It's not training that is available in all countries, but it is available in the UK. I did my training at the end of April this year and it complements my MBA perfectly, as it covers all the things I am trained in but gives businesses a way of measuring their positive progress toward business for good. I'm excited to get started – if you'd like help or advice, please do get in touch!

Find out more about B Corporations by visiting the official website here or go here if you are based in the UK.

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