Can start ups be certified B Corps?
In Australia and New Zealand:
Companies are eligible to be B Corp certified after 12 months of operations; younger companies can get started by signing up for a free B Impact Assessment account online. Remember, you'll need to have achieved a minimum verified score of 80 on the B Impact Assessment.
Why start now?
B Lab recently interviewed Ecozoom, who, seven months into their operations, took time to go through the B Impact Assessment (read the full story here). Three years later, their company has gone from three founders to 27 staff, certified as a B Corporation, and earned a spot on not one but two Best for the World lists. For more information on how Ecozoom used the B Impact Assessment while in start-up phase, please head to our US website.
Becoming familiar with the B Impact Assessment will give you some ideas on how to structure your business for the long term. It’s free, confidential, and more than 30,000 businesses are already using it as a useful management tool to measure, compare, and improve their social and environmental performance.
Most importantly, focus on building a great business that can profitably deliver a great product or service that a target customer will choose over existing competition. Remember, the first rule of mission-driven business is "no margin, no mission."
Please note, ‘Pending’ B Corp status is only available in the US and other jurisdictions where there is a legal framework in place for purpose-driven companies (such as the Benefit Corp legislation, read more here: http://benefitcorp.net/). We are working on providing this in Australia, and we hope to offer ‘pending’ status to start ups in the future.
Refer to Steps for Start-ups for more information.