Australia and New Zealand represent one of the fastest growing B Corp regions in the world. We already have over 10% of the world’s B Corps calling AU/NZ home. How amazing is that?
And correct me if I’m wrong but B Local Sydney represents over 100 Sydney-based companies, meaning we have the potential to become a very active, thriving and impactful B Local on the global stage. (Looking at all my fellow B Local Chairs!)
I met up with @Zach from Subpod last week in Byron (our online community in action already!) and he asked me how AU/NZ came to have so many B Corps. I can really only speculate but maybe the amazing @Andrew-BLab can shed some more light on this!
Update I also spoke to a data person from McCann and she was surprised. The Data says Australians are conservative and scared of the future (I’m paraphrasing but in a nutshell that’s it) So maybe the fear of climate change??? I’m fascinated now and need answers
“Coz we’re awesome” isn’t enough?! Truth be told there is no clear reason. I think the concept resonates well in an egalitarian society and the society-wide conversation around the role of business has been active for some time. Credit also to the early adopters who did much to build awareness.
In NZ now we are seeing government policy settings being positioned in a way that should assist further growth, and we’re looking to do more to support NZ to take advantage of this.
G’day! Haha… of course it’s because we’re awesome @Andrew-BLab . We’ve been lucky to have around 10% of the global B Corp pop for several years. The early leadership and team (especially Alicia, Mindy & Gaya during my time - and obviously a solid board) got a lot of traction early and did a great job bringing the community together even when we’re mostly Melbourne and Sydney but pretty scattered geographically (and NZ!). I think for most, the sense of community and being part of a (global) movement is the biggest value prop and attracted plenty of great people and businesses who enjoy each other’s company too. With new leadership and the B Local structures to help build more momentum and community locally I’m confident we’ll keep growing and hopefully even accelerate!
Over the past couple of years or so having B Corps being preferenced in some supply chains (at least in policy) I’ve had more conversations with business leaders wanting to certify for those reasons - and less because of the historical motivations. I guess it’s part of going mainstream (which I think we all want!)… some of the intent will be different but hopefully that’s outweighed by the positive impact. It does start changing some of the dynamics in the community though and I think we need to continue holding ourselves and each other accountable to our values and operating in a certain way.
PS: You know things are really going mainstream when the whole story arc of this season of Billions is focused on impact investing, ESG, divestment etc.
Haha re: Billions! Good call.
I agree it’s definitely gaining momentum which is so exciting to be on the cusp of. When I was overseas at the B Corp Summit people posed that is was due to Australians being very environmentally aware, but I’m not entirely sure I’d draw that conclusion. Especially having European folk saying this to me! It does seem like we’ve a strong belief in companies taking responsibility – maybe directly correlated with our lack of faith in government? Tehehe.
well if its on Billions it must be a good thing
@Zach I do love the show. Interesting watching how they’re dealing with the topic…
@alisonmichalk Yeah, we tend to be environmentally aware and as a nation we say we care and it’s important at higher rates than other countries… but our behaviours putting that statement into action is low - giving us one of the biggest gaps between say and do on the topic. I also think the B Corp number relates more to business owners and leaders thinking it’s important and barriers are low (mostly smaller businesses - many who formalise what they were already doing)… more than there being a direct demand from customers - especially B2C.
A brutal lens on this (hopefully not taken the wrong way) is to get 10% of a small early adopter market (total of ~3,300 globally) probably points more to concentration and local network effects - and says more about relatively slow adoption in larger more dispersed global markets. But I’d rather go with we’re a progressive egalitarian bunch!
@bethwallach welcome to the community. Here are some thoughts re: our convo today! Great chatting and glad to have you here as a passionate B Corp fan and potentially aspiring B Corp champ
Thanks so much for the warm welcome @alisonmichalk! Really great insights - it does definitely seem like adoption has flourished thanks to the thriving small business scene here grounded on ethical values, something I’ve really appreciated since moving from the UK. Oh and Billions is now firmly on my watch list