B-Corp for F-Corp
B-corporations (or benefit corporations) are a new organisational form that follows the highest standards of transparency, responsibility and finality. They are not social businesses as their shareholders are residual claimers; it means that B-Corps can pay dividends. But they go beyond profit maximisation as their strategies aim at maximising their impact on employees, communities and environment. B-corps act to improve society and the environment targeting local communities as well as global issues. B-corps are a very active and dynamic community worldwide. Researchers are interested in B-Corps as they are one of the new hybrid organisations born from social, demographic and economic transformations. B-Corps are still not well known to the general public and generally regulated. Italy is one of the few countries that issued a law recognising the special characteristics of B-Corps. Only 2000 B-Corps worldwide (250 in Europe and 12 in Switzerland). Why should family businesses get involved in this movement?
Family businesses do business in a special way. As enterprising families are long-term oriented with strong roots in the area where they live and work. They build strong relationships with their communities and they are better employers than non-family firms. So they have many points in common with B-Corps.
Some of my friends who are entrepreneurs — for example the Zordan family in Valdagno (Italy) — decided to transform their family business into a B-Corp after a serious accreditation process. I am convinced that more F-Corps should follow their example to clearly show that the family-capitalism not only is alive but it is for the benefit of societies and economies.
The Zordan family will attend the next Global STEP Summit at USI in Lugano (Switzerland) on November 2017. They will share their experience with many enterprising families from all over the world. It will be an excellent opportunity to discover how B-Corps and F-Corps can join efforts to improve our societies and our economies.