How Can Small Businesses Create Shared Value?

A Q&A with B Lab’s Andrew Kassoy
Dec 2, 2014 5:45 PM ET

How can small businesses create shared value? A Q&A with B Lab’s Andrew Kassoy

There are times when being a small business can give you the competitive advantage. Well aware of this fact is Andrew Kassoy, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit behind the B Corp movement. Many B Corps are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and arguably all create value for both the business and society. So which B Corps are creating shared value—and what makes them so successful at it? We posed Kassoy a few questions to better understand this aspect of B Corp certification.

To go deeper on B Corps creating shared value, join us for this webinar featuring Kassoy and other experts.

Why are SMEs primed to create shared value?

SMEs are more agile and can quickly adapt and incorporate new practices, whereas larger organizations often struggle to make meaningful change at scale. For a small or medium-sized enterprise, it is also easier to get a full picture of their footprint: in the case of a large company with an extensive supply chain, it is hard to establish if their sourcing practices are sustainable every step of the way, down to their last contractor. (It is not impossible, however: Cabot Creamery, Patagonia, and Etsy are all good examples of large companies that are successfully creating shared value by measuring what matters.) Companies are also likely to succeed at using business as a force for good if they start measuring and managing their impact when they are just forming, plan around their findings, and then continue to track environmental, social, and governance metrics as they grow. SMEs also have the unique opportunity to engage their entire team in impact awareness and communicate their mission and goals throughout the organization, creating a culture of ownership and accountability amongst employees. Read the rest of the interview.

Join us for the December 9th webinar Business Unusual: How B-Corporations Create Shared Value, in which Kassoy and other experts will discuss concrete examples of SMEs creating shared value, as well as the tools they use to manage both social impact and financial returns.

Click here to register or learn more at