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Building Better Business: 3 Considerations for an Inclusive Economy

This post was first published on LinkedIn.

Since 2006, B Corps have provided an alternative approach to business as usual. As the certifying entity for B Corps, B Lab states, “Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.” At this moment, we are at a tipping point with a widening economic gap on one side and an extraordinary opportunity on the other to shift the balance towards inclusivity.

In this article, I discuss three considerations for building better business and an inclusive economy that works for all.

The Importance of B Corps in the Global Economy

The B Corp movement (B Local PDX and B Lab U.S. & Canada) and the creation of the B Economy is a growing awareness of global capital markets to the mounting pressures of supporting a new way of doing business. The scale of opportunity is significant. More importantly, the opportunity has been recognized by the thousands of B Corps who have adopted the B Corp model for doing business and are addressing some of our most pressing global challenges. B Corps are building a movement for a new economy led by stakeholder capitalism. An inclusive economy.

The traction and momentum for building an inclusive economy are inspiring. B Corps also recognize that society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government or non-profits alone. And by harnessing the power of business, B Corps are using profits and growth to fuel a positive impact for employees, communities and the environment. At Avenue, this means we are working towards creating reduced inequality, stronger communities and the creation of more high-quality jobs with purpose in a supportive and collaborative environment. We’re just getting started.

3 Considerations for an Inclusive Economy

Imagine a living wage for all workers. A boardroom with the same mix of people as the factory floor. Business that works for everyone. An inclusive economy built on stakeholder capitalism is one that creates opportunities for people of all backgrounds and experiences to live with dignity, support themselves and their families and make meaningful contributions to their communities.

Below are three considerations for building an inclusive economy:

  1. Anti-racism and diversity, equity and inclusion work are key: Three years ago, The Inclusive Economy Challenge was created to support B Corp leaders in realizing important diversity, equity and inclusion goals. B Corp leaders rose to the occasion to implement practices like increased supplier diversity, gender pay equity and hiring chronically unemployed populations. Considering the potential a company can have in dismantling white supremacy culture in the workplace is another point of reflection, action and impact that B Corps can take in continuing to build a more inclusive economy.

  2. Building coalitions and working together is necessary: As the saying goes, we are greater than the sum of our parts. We can do more together. The urgent and necessary needs of our economic and natural environments cannot be addressed by one sector alone, whether that be public, private, nonprofit, government or academic. We must work together to take the social and environmental action necessary to make the economy work for everyone and ensure the planet will be a safe and hospitable place for generations to come. Consider where your company can unite conversations, purpose and action with other B Corps and like-minded businesses to create greater change.

  3. Your actions, today, matter: No matter what your business or occupation is, your actions (or non-actions) play a part in the greater ecosystem. Not acting is a decision. In order to influence positive social and environmental change, B Corps and purpose-driven companies need to step up, take responsibility and work together to build an inclusive economy. Consider how your company might play a role in taking action today.

B Corps are stepping up to create the change they want to see in the world. Together, we are a global movement of people using business as a force for good, leading our communities out of economic instability post-COVID and into a future built on racial equity, climate justice and economic inclusivity. To do this, we must prioritize building an economy that creates a shared and durable prosperity for all. So, where will your company begin this work? Learn more, start a conversation and join Avenue and the B Corp movement on this journey to building better business and a more inclusive economy.

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