Rebecca Shisler, Business Development Coordinator at Joining Vision and Action
At JVA, we love people and organizations that promote positive social change. In fact, it’s central to who we are. We love changemakers; you can find them across industries, in government, education, nonprofits and even for-profit companies. JVA frequently work with for-profit companies motivated by social good. We refer to these as social enterprises; in fact, we are one! Social enterprises come in several forms. Some, like JVA, are LLCs. Others have other certifications—which brings me to B-Corps. Some social enterprises elect to have the B Corporation certification. This means a company has gone through a three-step process and met the various performance and legal requirements necessary.
What are B Corps anyway?
B Corps are for-profit companies motivated by positive social and environmental change. In fact, the B Corporation website outlines these commitments in the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence. It states “we envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.” A business that is “purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.” As someone who tries my best to be a conscious consumer, I love the sound of this! I was pleased to learn that many of the companies that I already knew and loved had this B Corp certification. In fact, there are 87 B Corporations in Colorado alone!
Some favorite local B Corps
Having received my Master’s Degree at Colorado State University, I’d be remiss if I failed to showcase this Fort Collins favorite! New Belgium, in addition to making great Belgian-inspired beers, ensures social and environmental responsibility through sustainable techniques, regular donations, and being entirely employee-owned. Good thing you can find New Belgium in any bar or liquor store in the area!
Coda Coffee’s Edgewater café is essentially JVA’s next-door neighbor. I’ve spent many an afternoon coffee break there, and was so pleased to see the “Certified B Corp Seal” on the wall. Great coffee, friendly baristas, and locally roasted, ethically sourced beans check off all the boxes for a great coffee place for me.
The B Corp official website has an extensive list of all certified B Corps—maybe you’ll find a few companies you already love (Ben and Jerry’s, anyone?) and learn about ones you hadn’t heard of before!
What if I want to start a B Corp?
If you need assistance with business planning, want to further develop your business, or if you’re simply in the idea stage for your social enterprise (and maybe soon-to-be B Corp), then you should consider setting up a Social Enterprise Quick Consult with one of our talented social enterprise experts!