Updated: Apr 29, 2021
This article was first published on LinkedIn.
March has been a month of celebration of the collective work of B Corps around the globe. As B Corp Month comes to a close, I’ve shared what this year’s theme “better business” means to Avenue. Being a better business is not just about what we are doing today or have done in the past, it’s about continuing to challenge ourselves to improve our impact over time.
I have watched many companies doing the same things year-over-year without change. As a B Corp, the perspective is different. We are tasked with working continually to improve as a company and create a greater collective impact each year. This often means re-educating ourselves, integrating new practices into different areas of our business, prioritizing people over profit and inspiring other businesses in our ecosystem to do the same.
And this is where better business and collective impact intersect. B Corps are businesses working to build stronger communities, more inclusive and equitable companies and a healthier planet. With over 3,700 B Corps in 74 countries, there is an abundance of inspiration from fellow B Corps who are bringing the practice of better business to life. Together, we are setting the standard for a better way to do business.
Three Practices that Define Better Business
Being a B Corp is more than a certification. At Avenue, it means we put people first. We consider our impact on our employees, clients and communities when we make decisions because we believe business should be a force for good. We also collaborate with organizations like Business for a Better Portland who care deeply about the communities in which we live and work and make a positive difference by supporting things like equitable access to capital, safe and efficient transportation and affordable housing.
Below are three examples of what better business means to Avenue:
Taking actionable steps to dismantle white supremacy systems and culture: Racism is a global crisis. To eradicate it, businesses have a leadership role to play that goes beyond rhetoric and puts words into practice. For Avenue, this includes learning about racism, marginalization and oppression and sharing our learnings with the B Corp community and others, engaging with and supporting local anti-racism initiatives and taking action to dismantle racism in our business, community and the system at large. Collectively, B Corps are a force for good in the fight against inequity and injustice.
Prioritizing worker wellbeing: At Avenue, we place a premium on taking care of employees. We make decisions that prioritize our team’s wellbeing over productivity and profit. This practice has led to outcomes that are beneficial for both workers and the business in the long run. Our team members are the company’s greatest asset and are essential to business operations. We work on improving every day to ensure the team is heard, supported, empowered (including pursuing their dreams outside of work) and that high-trust communication is flowing.
Helping women, BIPOC and AAPI entrepreneurs grow and thrive: As a woman, immigrant, BIPOC and AAPI business owner, I believe it’s necessary to support, empower and lift up other marginalized founders, just as others have done for me. One way Avenue honors women and minority entrepreneurs is to provide education that fuels the growth and success of BIPOC and AAPI businesses. In 2020, Avenue worked with eight women and BIPOC entrepreneurs locally and around the globe through pro bono digital marketing and business consulting. Through this work, we not only get to lend a hand, but we also learn from and are inspired by what these remarkable founders are building.
At Avenue, being a better business means that we are held accountable for our actions and improving our impact each year. We understand that we are responsible for each other and for future generations by the choices we make. By meeting the highest standards of performance, transparency and accountability, we hope to inspire others to do the same. Join the movement by following @bcorpuscan.