There are now more than a thousand B corps in the U.S., including Warby Parker, Patagonia, Etsy, and Seventh Generation.
FinTech Collective company, APDS, is a B-Corp.
It’s easy to be skeptical of the mushy rhetoric surrounding B corps. Yet the desire to balance profit and purpose is arguably a return to the model that many American companies once followed. Henry Ford declared that, instead of boosting dividends, he’d rather use the money to build better cars and pay better wages. And Johnson & Johnson’s credo, written in 1943, stated that the company’s “first responsibility” was not to investors but to doctors, nurses, and patients. There were problems with this way of doing business: it was paternalistic and often inefficient. But what replaced it—the fetishization of shareholder value—has inflicted serious damage of its own, encouraging corporations to focus on short-term prospects and share price at the expense of everything else. The rise of B corps is a reminder that the idea that corporations should be only lean, mean, profit-maximizing machines isn’t dictated by the inherent nature of capitalism, let alone by human nature. As individuals, we try to make our work not just profitable but also meaningful. It may be time for more companies to do the same.