2013 Conscious Capitalism Conference

April 5episode

Are you a Certified B Corp? Jay Coen Gilbert explains why you should be

Jay Coen Gilbert is the co-founder of B-Labs, a nonprofit based outside of Philadelphia that envisions a new sector of the economy, harnessing the power of private enterprise to create public benefit. It promotes legislation allowing companies to formally incorporate as benefit corporations.

B Corps use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

“Indeed, B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee, or USDA Organic certification is to milk,” Gilbert explains, noting that New York recently became the seventh state to adopt the new corporate structure, joining California, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont, and Virginia. B Corp legislation is also pending in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.

In this podcast interview you’ll learn:

  • That B Corp structures exist to suit the needs of entrepreneurs and investors who want to make a better world through business.
  • Why the movement, and the “B Corps” concept, is cropping up around the country.
  • What it is, and why your company might want to consider becoming one.
  • From Agrodolce to Patagonia, who else is a B Corp?

Get the skinny on this new legal classification today. Download our podcast Q&A, at right.

How can you get in on the action?

  1. B Labs acts as an independent certification agency for what it calls “Certified B Corps.”
  2. Any business can voluntarily pursue such certification, whether or not it has formally incorporated as a benefit corporation.
  3. Candidates for Certified B Corp status must fill out an “impact assessment” questionnaire, open themselves to the possibility of an on-site audit, and pay an annual fee to B Labs.
  4. Find more information at www.bcorporation.net.

More about Jay Coen Gilbert

Jay Coen Gilbert co-founded and sold AND 1, a $250M basketball footwear and apparel company based outside Philadelphia. He led AND 1’s product and marketing division for 13 years and was AND 1’s CEO during its most rapid period of growth. He is also co-founder of B Lab, a nonprofit organization that envisions a new sector of the economy, harnessing the power of private enterprise to create public benefit.

This sector is comprised of a new type of entity—the B corporation. Unlike traditional businesses, it institutionalizes stakeholder interests and meets comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards. The mission of B Lab is to support B corporations and this emerging sector. In May, the San Francisco Chronicle featured him, the B corporation movement, and local B corporations Give Something Back and Numi Organic Tea.

He is co-chairman of Investors’ Circle, an organization dedicated to the acceleration of patient capital markets for a sustainable future. Since 1992, Investors’ Circle’s core activity has been the Investors’ Circle Network, a national network of angel investors, venture capital funds, foundations, and others that has facilitated the flow of over $111 million into 182 companies and venture funds addressing social and environmental challenges.

Gilbert is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a board member of the Philadelphia chapters of KIPP, a national public charter middle school. He is also a board member of City Year, a leading AmeriCorps youth service program, and Monteverde Friends, US. He grew up in New York City before graduating from Stanford University with a degree in East Asian Studies. Prior to AND 1, he worked for McKinsey & Company and several organizations in New York City’s public and nonprofit sectors.

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