B Corporation

B Corporations are businesses that give back to the community by following a set of guidelines for transparency, accountability and that pledge a certain amount of profits for a greater purpose.

Five B Corporations You Should Know

  1. Salt Spring Coffee, Canada
    B Impact Score: 118.4/200
    Salt Spring Coffee is a fair-trade organic coffee company that works with the Nicaraguan farmers to sustainably farm, sell and serve the highest grade of coffee beans on the market. Salt Spring hopes to pave the way for the coffee industry in producing eco-friendly packaging and contributing meaningful donations. The company does this by donating to innovative, eco-conscious projects through their 1% for the Planet fund.  These donations have allowed the company to co-found a Canadian waste-reduction initiative, help install solar panels for isolated Nicaraguan farmers and assist a women-run Ugandan farming co-op.
  2. Hora Salud, Chilé
    B Impact Score: 117.8/200
    Hora Salud is a simple user-friendly app for the rural Chilean populace that allows individuals to schedule and cancel appointments and check-ups online without wasting time. The app uses SMS to schedule and cancel doctors appointments. This allows already-sick individuals to avoid the burden of traveling to a Health Center and waiting in line for hours to book an appointment. Hora Salud may also be used in tandem with other markets to spread relevant information including weather, national emergencies and public policies. Their mission is to “Improve the quality of people’s lives, optimize service delivery and decision making with reliable and quality data.” As one of many B Corporations, Hora Salud promotes healthy business practices and opportunities for rural Chilean people.
  3. BioCarbon Partners, Zambia
    B Impact Score: 177.3/200
    BioCarbon Partners (BCP) operates in and outside of Zambia to offset carbon emissions in the atmosphere by sponsoring payment for eco-friendly business operations. BCP is an African leader in the reforestation carbon offset program. With a mission to “Make conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people,” BCP is cultivating an ecosystem that protects one of Africa’s largest migration sanctuaries. The company prioritizes community engagement and partnership to incentivize forest protection through long-term habitat protection agreements. BCP calculates the amount of carbon that is not released into the atmosphere due to its project and generates sales of these forest carbon offsets through independent external auditors. BCP then reinvests this revenue into conservation and development projects in local communities that rely on wildlife habitat for income. BCP has created 87 jobs for Zambians and continues to create opportunities for wildlife and humanity alike.
  4. Avante, Brazil
    B Impact Score: 136.1/200
    Avante is the largest benefactor of small businesses in Brazil with more than $200 million invested to serve “micro-companies” that are typically pushed out of the financial industry. Avante functions as a non-conventional financial technology service that uniquely combines credit, insurance and payments. It is currently the largest MFI in Brazil. Avante’s mission is to “humanize financial services,” through a combination of empowerment, ethical business practices and acknowledgment that small businesses are the foundation of a strong economy.
  5. Alma Natura, Spain
    B Impact Score: 153.8/200
    Alma Natura established B Corporation status in 2013 to give back to the Sierra de Huelva community of Spain. The first institution of the business began as a nonprofit. It eventually evolved into a limited partnership as Alma Natura continued to invest in rural businesses, guiding them towards a more sustainable and ethical future. With their increased profits, Alma Natura gave back by funding education, technological development and sanitation, ensuring financial equality and sustainable practices in towns with less government funding. Not only has Alma Natura functioned as a business consultant to guide rural communities towards a more equitable economic future, but their commitment to preserving the planet and providing care and education to disadvantaged agricultural centers places their ranking high among businesses that take responsibility for the betterment of humanity.

Natalie Williams
Photo: Pixabay

Five Benefit Corporations Fighting Global Poverty
There are many large enterprises committed to fighting global poverty as a part of corporate social responsibility or through donations. However, a new category of benefit-driven corporations characterized by creating a social and environmental impact has become increasingly popular with the rise of sustainable development and impact investment.

Many of these companies are commonly known as social enterprises, B corporations or fourth sector companies. The list below provides examples of corporations fighting global poverty around the world and how they are actively tackling numerous world issues through their impact.


This social enterprise focuses on fighting global poverty through providing access to clean water in order to decrease risk of disease. The corporation sells environmentally friendly water bottles in Spain and 100 percent of the company’s dividends are invested in providing clean water to those living in poverty around the world; as a result of these efforts, Auara has both an environmental and social impact.

In addition, these projects aimed at providing clean water are mostly carried out in Africa.


This is one of many American corporations fighting global poverty, but Better World Books strives to break the poverty cycle by focusing on education. In 2002, the founders created a business model based on the online collection and sale of new and used books for economic profit. All profit gained from this is then used to fund literacy projects around the world.

Due to economic profit, social literacy impact and reselling of unwanted books, this organization is said to have a triple impact. Since the creation of the company, 21 million books have been donated to Books for Africa, Room to Read and the National Center for Families Learning. This company has also raised over $24 million for literacy initiatives.

3. EBY

Sofia Vergara and Renata Black co-founded EBY as an undergarment line in 2017. This company is one of many American corporations fighting global poverty through female empowerment and microfinance. The main goal is to provide small loans to women so that they have the means to start their own businesses and thus become self-sufficient and independent.

EBY accomplishes this by contributing 10 percent of net sales to the Seven Bar Foundation; so far, the financed loans have helped women in Colombia, Haiti and Nicaragua.


Incluyeme is a corporation fighting global poverty by providing jobs to those with disabilities. Disabled populations are more likely to be unemployed, which gives them a difficult position from which to overcome poverty. This company created an online platform to connect disabled people looking for work with inclusive employers that match their profiles.

The company began in Argentina, but has now spread to different parts of Latin America and Spain, and will continue to grow to increase impact. Any profits made are reinvested into social initiative projects so as to maximize social impact within communities served.


This Colombian corporation aims to fight global poverty by addressing the issue of hunger and fighting malnutrition and obesity. Founded in 2014, Alcagüete is a line of healthy snacks that for every snack sold, the company gives a snack to a child in the country who is in need. Since its founding, they have given away 437,895 snacks to hungry children.

With corporations like these five, the fight against global poverty is stronger than ever. Now the question is which company will be the next B-Corp or social enterprise?

– Luz Solano-Flórez
Photo: Flickr

B Lab Uses Businesses as Forces for Good

The Sept. 1, 2017 passage of HB3488 adds Texas to the list of 33 states with official benefit corporation legislation. B Lab, a nonprofit that certifies for-profit corporations as B (beneficial) Corporations, lobbies states to change regulations surrounding company profits. Successful passage of this newest legislation signifies the growing strength of the B Corporation movement.

B Lab aims to create beneficial social change through for-profit businesses. The nonprofit provides B Corporation certifications to businesses that pass a rigorous assessment that asks about everything from environmental impact to employee benefits. Companies that score high enough on the assessment then must amend their articles of incorporation to consider the interests of employees, the community and the environment.

As of 2014, over 1,000 companies spanning over 30 countries and 60 industries are B Certified. Some of the larger companies to become B Corporations are Etsy, Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia.

The certification allows businesses to market themselves as socially responsible to customers and investors. B Lab still works to drive profits at B Corporations — the aim of the initiative is to show that beneficial corporations can be just as profitable as their competitors. B Certificates separate companies that actually do good from companies that simply market themselves as socially conscious.

B Lab has created the Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS) to assess the relative social impact of corporations worldwide. The rating system is overseen by an independent board of experts and regulators to maintain neutrality.

In the U.S., B Lab has encountered some difficulty expanding B Certifications to all states. Laws pertaining to corporate profits vary from state to state. Some states rule that corporations are obligated to prioritize profits over all else in order to maximize revenue earned by shareholders. This rule means B Corporations cannot operate in these states, since B Lab requires companies to change their articles of incorporation to equally prioritize social responsibility and profit. Therefore, B Lab campaigns for changes to corporate laws on the state level. Currently, 33 states allow B Corporations and an additional six have pending legislation.

B Lab’s influence extends past U.S. borders. Roshan, a cellphone service provider in Afghanistan with 6.5 million subscribers, is an example of a B Corporation that benefits a developing country. The company challenges Afghanistan’s gender norms — 20% of the corporation’s labor force and 17% of its senior management team are women.

Additionally, Roshan has invested $700 million in infrastructure and additional millions in community development projects like well-building and the formation of computer learning centers. Through these investments, Roshan has created 30,000 jobs in Afghanistan.

Roshan’s focus on community development is not purely altruistic. The company’s investments add to its customer base by creating revenue sources for more citizens. For example, Roshan initiated a program to teach women how to fix mobile phones. Today, the proliferation of secondhand mobile phones has expanded Roshan’s customer base.

B Lab’s mobilization of businesses as forces for good has the potential to positively impact impoverished communities. By utilizing the private sector as a vehicle for social change, B Lab proves that corporate profits and community wealth are not mutually exclusive.

Katherine Parks

Photo: Flickr