B|23 x Wildanet / Sparking impactful change with first-of-its-kind B Corp programme

The Brief

Achieving B Corp status and going through the rigorous B Impact Assessment (BIA) can be a daunting and overwhelming undertaking. For many SMEs we’ve spoken to over the years, it has been an often lonely and testing process. Recognising this, Leap was asked by independent internet service provider Wildanet to partner with them to design and deliver a programme to take them and an initial cohort of 23 other Cornish businesses through the B Corp submission process. This was an entirely new community-based approach and would become the largest place-based programme of its kind.

Our Solution

As B Corp champions with decades of experience supporting organisations in using business as a force for good, the LEAP team were uniquely qualified to take on this project and make it a success. Wildanet and their sustainability partner Cornwall Chamber of Commerce hosted a sold-out business breakfast at the Eden Project announcing the project. As a result, 50+ Cornish businesses signed up for the Inspiration Day launch event a couple of months later. We ended up oversubscribed with a waiting list of businesses ready to commit to what was dubbed the B | 23 programme.

The selected businesses would go through a series of gatherings, each centred around one of the five B Corp pillars of Governance, Environment, Workers, Community and Customers. Set in stunning locations across Cornwall, the sessions featured inspiring talks from speakers sharing their business for good stories and advice, as well as workshops on each part of the BIA. All participants were also assigned a dedicated B Guide to support them through the work in and outside of the sessions.

After the first cohort, 24 businesses with a total of over 500 employees and a combined £50 million annual turnover had gone through the programme. Such was the success of the programme, that a second cohort was accepted for later in the same year.

The Impact

The new additions from B | 23 makes Cornwall the largest cluster of B Corps outside of London. Every single business that has taken part is in a better place for the tools and skills they have acquired. They are also part of a new network of values-aligned businesses across Cornwall, facilitating future support, collaboration and growth. This will have a positive impact, not only on the organisation, but on the community as a whole.

With the success of the programme, B Lab UK are exploring using B | 23 as a blueprint for similar programmes elsewhere, further amplifying its positive impact.

42 businesses completed the B | 23 programme

A collective £75 million annual turnover for better business

800+ employees benefitted

Results presented in parliament

Being supported and mentored through the process has been really valuable to us. Having people that have done it before but also people who are on the journey to share the information, to share the problems and help solve them together — that kind of collaborative effort has been really good.

Patricia Hawes, Meiloci Landscape Architects

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