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Business as a Force for Good: A Conversation with B Lab

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 -
1:00pm to 2:30pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear St. Ste 360
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What's the secret of B-Corps big successes?  Which ingredients might businesses add to their own recipes for social impact?  

B Corps have been shaking up the traditional business model for some time. As The New York Times said in its descriptions of B Corps “these are companies explicitly charged with a dual mission: to earn profits for shareholders, the traditional business goal, and also to pursue the social good in other ways, ranging from protecting employees to safeguarding the environment”. But there is much about the B Corps experience that can be applied to any business's social responsibility and sustainable development goals touching many areas of corporate practice including supply chain, sustainability, HR, CSR, governance, philanthropy, diversity, and community affairs.

NCG invites you to join B Lab co-founder Bart Houlahan and Chief B Keeper at B Lab Ben Anderson, as well as local leaders of the B Corp community, to have a conversation about the role business must play in addressing social and environmental issues and explore how companies can create an inclusive economy that provides a shared and durable prosperity for all.

Join Us To:

  • Learn about the growth of the B Corp movement
  • Explore how their strategies, framework, and lessons can be applied to all types of businesses
  • Hear from business leaders about how they’re leveraging the B-Corp strategies and framework to address sustainable development goals and other CSR efforts

"By capitalizing on ten years of momentum, we can create a more just, inclusive, and resilient economy. If we build local and global economies where companies compete to be not only the best in the world, but the Best for the World, then we will reduce inequality, alleviate poverty, ensure access to basic services for all, restore natural ecosystems, strengthen communities, and provide quality jobs with dignity and purpose."

About B Lab

B Lab has spent the past decade redefining success in business so that all companies compete to be best for the world by using our impact management and governance tools. We do this to build an inclusive economy that creates a shared and durable prosperity for all - an economy where workers, communities, and the natural environment are integral to – and even the purpose of - business decisions.

In less than ten years, B Lab has become a recognized leader in the field of responsible business, driving companies towards high standards of performance, accountability, and transparency. Over 60,000 companies in more than 80 countries are using B Lab’s impact management platform. Nearly 2,000 of these are recognized as Certified B Corporations —companies verified as meeting the highest levels of performance and making a legal commitment to all stakeholders. 34 U.S. jurisdictions, as well as the country of Italy, have adopted B Lab’s new corporate statute, with the G7 recommending that countries around the globe follow suit. In addition to being honored as a Skoll Awardee for Social Entrepreneurship and a recipient of the John P. McNulty Prize, B Lab has been recognized in almost every major business publication (including Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company) for leading a global culture shift to redefine success in business. 


Ben Anderson is Chief B Keeper at B Lab where he oversees the North American community of B Corps. Ben joined B Lab after a career as a social entrepreneur, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer at Preserve, a leading sustainable product company. Preserve, a Certified B Corp, is best known for turning yogurt cups into toothbrushes and creating innovative closed-loop recycling systems with other leading brands. Earlier in his career Ben developed, directed and expanded a range of urban education programs, including founding a Boston charter school. Ben received his BA from Williams College and MBA from Babson. Ben is from Boston and now resides in San Francisco with his family.

Bart Houlahan was CFO, COO, and President of AND 1 prior to co-founding B Lab. Before AND 1, Bart was an investment banker with Stonebridge Associates, BNY Associates, and Prudential-Bache Securities with a specific focus on providing corporate finance and merger and acquisition services to small-cap businesses. Bart serves on several business and civic boards, including Hives for Lives, a kid-run charitable business which educates high school students about the power of social  entrepreneurship. Bart is a graduate of Stanford University with a BS in human biology. Bart is a 2011 Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a Skoll Entrepreneur, and a recipient of the McNulty Prize.

Olivia Muiru is the Executive Director of B Lab East Africa. In her role, Olivia is working on building a community of people using business as a force for good in the region. Prior to this role, Olivia was the Global Partner Manager at B Lab supporting its network of regional partners. She also worked as a Standards Analyst helping companies going through the B Corp Certification process, and supporting impact investors to measure and report their social and environmental impact.

Olivia has 7+ years experience of working with public and private enterprises across the globe on monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining B Lab, she worked with Microfinanza Rating (MFR) as a Junior Analyst in their African Regional office. During her time with MFR, she worked with Microfinance Institutions located in Sub-Saharan Africa in rating their social impact. She also worked at Deloitte Kenya, in their internship program on Audit and Assurance.

Olivia was recognized in 2017 as an Emerging Leader by Skoll and Mastercard Foundation. She is currently in the process of completing her MBA in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise from United States International University – Africa. She graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Finance and International Business from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Swati Mylavarapu is on the B Lab Board and is the founder of Incite Labs, a philanthropic organization that supports breakthrough social entrepreneurs and their organizations. She is also the founder of Incite Ventures, a venture firm that makes early stage investments in entrepreneurs with businesses that make a meaningful social impact. She is a career-long advocate of the potential for business as a social change agent, to do well and do good. Swati was previously a Partner on the venture capital team at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where she focused on consumer digital and hardware investments. Before KPCB, Swati built the international business and product marketing efforts at Square, a financial services company that levels the playing field for small business. Earlier in her career, Swati led the client services and sales efforts at Quid, a data analytics company, and was part of the founding team at Swati also serves on the non-profit boards of Bayes Impact, and the Boston Review. Swati graduated from Harvard with an AB in Development Studies, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and a Truman Scholar. She also holds an MPhil in Economic History from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.