Breaking Down the Benefits of B-Corps: Now Available in Louisiana

So you likely know of wildly successful sites Etsy and Couchsurfing, but what you don't know is that their corporate status is as unique as their business models. Both of these online powerhouses are setup as B-corps (short for benefit corporations).

In short, their business and revenue model combines social entrepreneurial spirit with a do-gooder nature - to the benefit of society, the environment and their investors (in that order).

Why all the excitement over this NOW? Well, Lousiana recently became the eighth state in the nation, and the first in the South, to enact benefit corporation legislation.

Which leads to our presenters for the evening:

The Business of B-Corps: New Orleans City Business writer Jennifer Larino has been covering B-corps since before they were legal. From the journey through the halls of government, across the legislative floor to the adoption by the local business community as yet another business incentive, Larino will share the knowledge she has gathered along the way with our group.

B is for Bicycle B-Corp: Wes McWhorter, kick-ass developer and designer at Trumpet by day, is also the Rouler, New Orleans-based B-corp bicycle repair shop. McWhorter will discuss his experience, reasons for being "B" and lessons learned.

Lesson in B-Corp Law: Megan Riess, an associate attorney at Fishman Haygood Phelps Walmsley Willis & Swanson, who was instrumental in creating the B corporation legislation in Louisiana.

This is an exciting development, one that will continue to impact our local economy, draw smart, talented and socially responsible innovators to our state (not to mention the impact to those who have already planted roots in New Orleans).


Evening's Agenda

  • Doors open at 5:00pm
  • Drinks and Networking start at 6:00pm
    (if you know of someone who would like to sponsor this event, please let us know)
  • Announcements and Presentations begin at 7:00pm

* Please let us know if you have any special announcements, job opportunities, or other information to share with the group.

A Little More on B-Corps

A benefit corporation, or B corp, model was developed by B Lab, a Philadelphia based non-profit, that wanted to find a way to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems, instead of making them worse. As Shareable's Malcom Harris wrote earlier this year, B corps are "a new class of US corporations, dedicated to social as well as financial good."

Benefit corporations:

  1. Have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment;
  2. Are required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on shareholders but also on workers, community, and the environment;
  3. Are required to make available to the public an annual benefit report that assesses their overall social and environmental performance against a third party standard.

Unlike other corporations, which exist only to generate profit for their shareholders, a B Corp exists to fulfill its socially or environmentally beneficial mission, and is allowed to put those goals ahead of profit. As such, the B Corp has the legal right to make decisions that might be "bad" for shareholders, but are good in other ways.

 

 

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  • damien l.

    I thought the speakers did a great job with making the content relevant based on their experiences. Jennifer laid the foundation, Wes gave an intensely personal (and hysterical) account of what the process meant to him, and Megan went through the pitfalls and misconceptions of the legislation like only a lawyer could (that's actually a compliment!).

    September 12, 2012

  • Demetri M.

    great topic - would like to see more detailed info about the B-corp creation process (how about a B-corp 202 meet-up?).

    September 11, 2012

  • Philip C.

    If a B-corporation is allowed to put their social or environmental mission AHEAD of profit and then finds out they have no money left in the bank to pay it's employees or anyone doing business with the B-Corp for that matter (e.g. contractors, utility companies, landlords, etc.) how long will this B-corporation last as an entity? If it keeps losing money, via giving it away, than should it not be a non-profit? It seems a B-Corporation is a business (SLAVE) with TWO (2) MASTERS. Can it really have two goals: (1) make money & pay employees, and/or (2) give away money and leave employees and contractors in debt all in the name of social good? Nevertheless, it seems every other day there is another New Orleans NON-PROFIT that ends up being investigated and convicted for corruption and many other white collar crimes. And if you look at New Orleans as a whole for the last 20 to 40 years, can one really say that NON-PROFITS as a group have helped New Orleans for the better?

    September 8, 2012

    • Demetri M.

      All good questions to look into before tuesday night's meet-up. Be assured that US Heritage Powersports will be making a social benefit difference in New Orleans - and you can personally audit us if you wish! Give me a compelling reason to add you to our Team in a way that your talent & efforts will provide value to our educational & vocation training element for high School students in NOLA.

      September 8, 2012

    • Adele T.

      Watch the event live at https://plus.google.co...­

      September 11, 2012

  • HeyitsMegan

    If anyone has an apple remote on them for some reason please bring it along - we need to borrow one as a clicker for prezzos; you can hand off to me when you get there and I'll make sure to get it back to you at the end!

    September 11, 2012

    • Chris J.

      Are you sure there isn't an app for that? I use an iPhone app as a Keynote remote.

      September 11, 2012

  • James A. L.

    I would really like more information on this, unfortunately my other benefit non-profit orgs have 2 back to back meetings that night, so I can't make it.

    Will there be materials available online from the speakers, or summaries/minutes of the meet-up?

    September 7, 2012

    • James A. L.

      Does that mean it can be recorded too??

      September 7, 2012

    • Chris J.

      Yes, James. Depending on whose Google Hangout account they use, they can have the livestream recording become available moments after the stream as a video on YouTube.

      September 10, 2012

  • Demetri M.

    B-corps RULE - S-corps drool !
    just had to get that out :- ]

    1 · September 7, 2012

  • Brooke L.

    Adele: Awesome topic idea!!! Very excited about this-- If you would like someone to speak about *HOW* a company can become a b-corp, I'm happy to do so. Just let me know!!

    September 6, 2012

    • Adele T.

      Brooke, Thanks for the offer. We were just waiting on someone we had previously reached out to to confirm, which they have. I hope you still plan to attend and will share your experiences with the group as well.

      September 6, 2012

    • Brooke L.

      thanks adele! damien just advised the same about 30 minutes ago... you guys work fast! :o) i'll be there on tuesday... looking forward to it!!

      September 6, 2012

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