Leading the Way for Indigenous-Owned B Corps

2016-09-06 Share story


If you’ve been wondering what that “B” logo means on the bottom of our website, this post will explain. Today, we’re talking about purpose-driven organizations, starting with yours truly, Animikii!

What is a B Corp?

B Corps are for-profit organizations that have been certified by B Labs (a non-profit organization) as having met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Essentially, B Corps are the organizations that “compete not only to be the best in the world but the best for the world.”

Animikii officially became certified back in July 2016 (did you catch our Facebook post or Tweet?) and we are continually finding new ways to improve as a purpose-driven organization.

Before becoming a B Corp, Animikii did its homework on the organization B Labs, and what we learned, we loved. The organization’s goal is to foster social innovation and to support social enterprises. B Lab’s passion is to see purpose-driven organizations lead the world economy. We share B Lab’s dedication to social and environmental issues, and as an Indigenous-owned organization, our values align closely with those of B Lab and of other certified B Corps.

How can you become a B Corp?

The process of becoming a B Corp is not a simple, fast or an easy one. In order to become certified by B Labs, every aspect of the business is put under a microscope to determine whether or not it meets the rigid standards of the B Corp certification requirements. However, even though Animikii has met all of B Lab’s certification requirements, our work is not complete.

As a B Corp, we now have a greater responsibility to consider the impact of our decisions on all of our stakeholders, including our employees, customers, suppliers, local Communities, partner organizations and the like. Animikii has always strived to exceed the expectations placed on a typical technology firm and this B Corp certification is just another reminder to us that we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the mainstream marketplace demands.

B Labs challenges us to do better; it has recognized Animikii for its past efforts and achievements but still drives us to do better. B Lab and our new B Corp network provide a framework or a roadmap that we can use to help us improve our positive impact on the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities that we serve.

If Animikii is going to continue to be a role model organization for up-and-coming Indigenous entrepreneurs and small business owners, we need to set the standard of a purpose-driven organization, not merely meet it.

Why does it matter to Animikii?

There are nearly unlimited certifications available for businesses to collect; however, Animikii is not in the business of collecting certifications to make ourselves feel accomplished. We only apply for and work towards those certifications that carry significance and act as a reminder for ourselves and for our stakeholders that we are a high-achieving, big-dreaming organization.

When we first learned about the B Corp certification, we were immediately intrigued. When we learned that we had the opportunity to engage with other B Corp companies, we knew it was right for us. To the Animikii team, being a Certified B Corp means that we are part of the leading charge pushing us all towards a values-driven economy; Being a B Corp means that we are setting the standard for a new kind of business.

Find a B Corp

Animikii is now a Certified B Corporation and we’re proud to be in such good company. Check out some of our peers on the Find a B Corp web application. Next time you find yourself searching for a new supplier or a new place to shop, try checking out the offerings of Certified B Corporations. The 1800+ Certified B Corps span over 130 industries and 50 countries across the globe. We all have different offerings and different mission statements, but all B Corps are driven by the same unifying vision: to see business become a force for global good.

Think your business values are aligned with those of B Lab? Want to learn more about becoming a B Corp? Check out this piece written by B Labs on the process. If you are an Indigenous-owned company and want to become a B Corp but can’t figure out your next step, connect with us at Animikii! We know the process can be daunting and we’re always happy to see great organizations join us as Certified B Corps.

Animikii became a Certified B Corp in July of 2016; we believe that Animikii is likely the first Indigenous-owned business in Canada to become a B Corp - but we’d be happy to be proven wrong about that! If you know of any other Canadian Indigenous-owned B Corps, please reach out to us on TwitterFacebook or E-mail to let us know about it; we’re always looking to meet and network with like-minded organizations.

Article published September 6, 2016.

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