I spent 16 years in private equity [before cofounding B Lab] and I increasingly saw that the business was just about scale and money. Anything else that the industry might have been about [when I started]–building companies and industries that could last–was increasingly ‘financialized.’ When we started B Lab, we wanted to find a way to build a global movement of people who saw that business could be a force for good. Instead of getting companies to make only the most money, we wanted them to compete to become the best for the world, and that, we believed, would lead to more shared prosperity in the system.
We’re trying to actually measure how a company is a force for good. We are looking beyond the financial responsibility of acting only for the shareholders to what impact a company may have on the stakeholders in the process. What is the impact a business is having on society? By creating a set of tools and standards, we’re trying to empower companies to be that force. Andrew Kassoy, cofounder of B Lab, the nonprofit that created the organizational structure for benefit corporations