Dawn of the Do-Gooders | Post Recession Business

Excerpt from Fast Company article in 20th Anniversary Issue

In the wake of the Great Recession, a new kind of company gained traction. Businesses focused on social good have been around for decades, but the concept really took off in 2012, as new laws in several states including the startup-friendly California, Florida and New York allowed mission-based companies to reincorporate as benefit corporations and protect themselves from shareholders who might not prioritize values such as employee wellness or eco-friendliness. One of the biggest proponents to this regulation was B Lab, a not-for-profit that offers its own nonlegal framework for such companies, certifying them as B Corporations. According to cofounder Jay Coen Gilbert, the same unrest that fueled the Occupy movement in 2011 helped propel social enterprises mainstream. “It was clear that the interests of business and society were no longer aligned,” he said. Today, there are more than 3,000 benefit corporations and more than 1,400 certified B Corporations. – Kenya Rankin excerpt from Fast Company