New companies have the opportunity to manage their business in progressive and innovative ways from the start, but it is not always easy – their hands are full just maintaining viability. The B Team, a group of influential business leaders, believes that the integration social and environmental purpose into a company’s core business model from the very start will allow the company to realize significant benefits for their investors, shareholders and customers. To that effect, they have launched “Born B,” a “movement of entrepreneurs and business leaders” building their companies with people and planet alongside profit.
Virgin Group founder and B Team co-founder Sir Richard Branson and Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff made the announcement at the Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco on March 14, when more than 100 technology entrepreneurs gathered for a discussion on what it means to build purpose-driven companies.
The Born B community will be led by “B innovators, industry disruptors committed to working on The B Team Challenges,” (which include transparency, diversity, collaboration, nature, and more). During 2016, the community will be supported through events, online resources, and Born B’s partnership with B Corp. Born B also plans to engage with the venture capital and legal communities to encourage the flow of investment capital into ventures that “want to have positive profitable business success and significant social impact.”
Interested entrepreneurs are encouraged to get started by:
- Joining the Born B mailing list to learn about commitments they can take to drive change;
- Taking the Born B Quick Impact Assessment to start measuring their company’s impacts on people and planet and gauge their progress against that of other companies at the same stage of growth;
- Pledging 1 percent of their personal equity, company equity, employee time, product and/or profit to support non-profits in their community; and
- Aligning their governance model with their mission, by becoming a benefit corporation or building their mission into their LLC’s operating agreement.
Born B companies are then encouraged to set goals – whether tailored to becoming B Corp-certified or more long-term, such as to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Virgin Group, Salesforce and Unilever are all among the companies to set a ‘Net-Zero by 2050’ goal, and The B Team has urged world leaders to make such a commitment as well.
The B Team is also supporting the Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development, created by B Team member and Unilever CEO Paul Polman, which aims to quantify and articulate the economic case for businesses to engage in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Branson and Benioff are among the 27 investors in the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of investors committed to supporting the commercialization of clean energy ideas.