Nine Certified B Corporations have been named by Bloomberg's BusinessWeek as America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2011.
Certified B Corporations use "the power of business to solve social and environmental problems." To earn certification, B Corps meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legal accountability, and public transparency.
This year's awardees for mission-driven businesses represent diverse industries from insurance to green building and consumer products to health care technology.
They are: Azavea, Change.org, Dimagi, Emory Knoll Farms, Freelancers Insurance Company, Greyston Bakery, Nest Collective, Re:Vision Architecture and World Centric.
B Corporations have represented 31% of 'America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs' since BusinessWeek began recognizing these leaders three years ago.
Eleek, Napo Pharmaceuticals, DripTech, Mobis (Bikestation), The Redwoods Group, Source 44 and Sustainable Harvest were named in 2010. Better World Books, CleanFish, Fair Trade Sports, IceStone, Impact Makers, PhilanTech and SVT Group were included in 2009.
There are over 400 Certified B Corps from over 60 industries, and investors are showing increasing interest in these high-impact businesses. A JPMorgan research report labeled impact investments as an "emerging asset class" with profit potential in the hundreds of billions over the next decade.
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations. B Lab works to drive systemic change through three related initiatives:
1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier to tell the difference between "good companies" and just good marketing;
2) accelerating the growth of the impact investing through a unique rating system; and
3) promoting supportive public policies, including legislation creating Benefit Corporations in all fifty states.
See the list of America's Most Promising Entrepreneurs 2011: