The Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise is collaborating with New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) to launch UNH’s first “B Impact Clinic” in the Spring of 2019.
The B Impact Clinic gathers teams of cross-discipline undergraduate students to serve as consultants for New Hampshire companies that are working to complete their B Impact Assessment. The BIA is an open-access, rigorous assessment tool, which is widely regarded as a comprehensive way to assess a company’s impact. Company leaders who want to address their social and environmental impact can receive help from UNH students. Students are matched with companies to help them complete the assessment, become B Corp certified, recertified, or to simply understand how they perform.
What is a B Corp?
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
B Corp certification is about a decade old. There are now 2655 companies across 150 industries that are certified including Patagonia, Danone, Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot, Seventh Generation and Eileen Fisher. New Hampshire is proud to be home to several leading B Corps including Stonyfield, W.S. Badger, Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs, ReVision Energy, Veris Wealth Partners, and Mascoma Bank. There are a number of certified B Corps in the surrounding states as well. Companies are certified based on a lengthy and rigorous assessment process, and are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
In the Fall 2018 semester, the program was piloted with a small team of two UNH students working to help Koya Leadership Partners (founded and owned by UNH alum, Katie Bouton) become B Corp certified. The students and a company representative (UNH alum, Meghan Seidman) collaborated under the guidance of Fiona Wilson on the B Impact Assessment, and completed the submission for certification in early December. The immersive learning project has been an excellent educational platform for “sustainable business” due to the comprehensive and rigorous assessment evaluating all aspects of the company’s operations.
The current semester's Clinic is now underway!
The immersive learning project is an excellent educational platform around “sustainable business” due to the comprehensive and rigorous assessment platform that evaluates all aspects of the company’s operations. This opportunity is available for students to receive two independent study credits (via Dr. Fiona Wilson). Participants will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 5:00-6:20pm (for the Spring 2019 semester) to collaborate on their project and participate in lectures and activities discussing how companies can benefit from a triple bottom line: People, planet, and profit.
Not only is this a great resume-building opportunity, it is an opportunity to step out of the traditional classroom to work with local companies and gain first-hand experience of what makes a truly sustainable business and successful B Corporation.
Sound like something you want to be a part of?
We are now welcoming companies to apply for the Fall 2019 semester. Companies must identify one person of contact for their team who is available to participate in the Clinic events.
The brief application is now available and open for the Fall 2019 semester, until March 30.
Timeline for the Spring 2019 Clinic:
*Note: Business and student participants must be available for each of these events*
- Wednesday, January 30, 5:00-7:00pm: Program launch event (companies will present their project to students in the clinic to help determine team formation)
- Wednesday, March 6, 5:00-7:00pm: Interim project presentations
- Wednesday, April 24, 5:00-7:00pm: Final project presentations and closing celebration