As a triple bottom-line company and a B Corporation, we’re excited to let you know about recent progress in the social enterprise movement. On April 13, the state of Maryland signed into law a bill designating a new kind of company that creates social benefit and shareholder value.
This is kind of a big deal for Better World Books and companies like ours. Previously, there had not been a legal framework specifically designed for social enterprise – you either had to be a for-profit company, legally beholden to maximizing shareholder value, or a non-profit organization. Now there is a legal framework for companies that do well by doing good and who strive to generate both social and shareholder returns.
B Lab (the certifying body for B Corporations) had this to say:
“This was a historic day that recognized the growing movement of entrepreneurs, investors, consumers, employees, and communities that are harnessing the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The legislation could not have passed without the concrete example and the leadership of nearly 300 Certified B Corporations that are speaking with collective voice about doing business in a different way.”
Similar legislation is working its way through in several states. You can learn more about this trend on the B-Corporation blog.