B Corp Twente: meaningful entrepreneurship and the leverage effect

Saxion Conscious Businesslab and Eshuis Accountants en Adviseurs are the initiators of BCorp Twente. “A second group of entrepreneurs has also started, in the meantime,” says Mark de Lat, partner at Eshuis. “Our aim is realising an unstoppable movement of meaningful entrepreneurship.” “Eshuis itself has also been actively working with the B Corp method for a year now,” says his colleague Evelyn Landhuis. 

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In short

  • Business models of companies can be used more and more to create social impact.
  • That is why B Corp Twente was founded. A quality label for entrepreneurs who, in addition to profit, also take people, the environment and society as a starting point, and therefore have a meaningful business. 
  • About twenty organisations, divided into two groups, have now enthusiastically started working with B Corp and initiatives for ‘exporting’ the B Corp Twente concept to the regions of Zwolle and the Achterhoek are ready.
The baker eats his own bread

“We organise active learn-work sessions in collaboration with Saxion. We bring entrepreneurs together, and they talk and encourage each other about taking action and contributing to social, ecological end economic values with their business models. Eshuis is not only an initiator of B Corp; they are also a participant. The baker eats his own bread. We have to keep improving ourselves if we want to motivate our partners to have more meaningful businesses,” says Evelyn.

Creating multiform impact

A B Corp team has been formed within Eshuis, consisting of Martijn Evers (controller), Lisa Meijer (HRM), Evelyn Landhuis (project leader) and Mark de Lat (initiator). This team builds on the baseline measurement carried out by Bas Hooge Venterink (Saxion graduate). Mark describes the steps that have been taken: “We are now translating the insights from the baseline measurement into concrete actions, and we want to create multiform value and impact with this. These actions vary from making our purchasing and mobility policy more sustainable to an initiating role towards our (inter)national sector organisation.” 

Just looking that one step further

Evelyn explains the relevance of the B Corp standard: “We notice that the B Corp tool helps us with staying focused. We are looking just that one step further. It forces us to make themes such as sustainability as concrete as possible, both for ourselves and our customers. We certainly translate this into our daily work as well by, for example, referring our customers to new legislation and regulations regarding the energy transition. For example, the obligation that offices must have energy label C by January 1st, 2023.” “Making sustainability themes concrete also means that our colleagues are trained in sustainability issues that are relevant for our customers,” adds Mark.

B Corp as a foundation for impact reports

This was Mark’s response when he was asked how B Corp fits Eshuis’s ambition: “Working with the B Corp system helps us with realising our ambition. We combine this with working with the Sustainable Development Goals, as formulated by the UN. Our ambition is helping clients to be more successful every day in a way that lets them impact the social and economic position of the region. We try to challenge clients to do the right thing with their business models. We are very serious about stimulating the growth of meaningful entrepreneurship in Twente in this way, which is why we started the B Corp series in cooperation with Saxion. The B Corp standard works as a mirror for us, and that is how we were able to realise our ambition.” “This mirroring was the foundation of the recently published impact report for a reason,” concludes Evelyn.

Date: 19 October 2020
Source of tekst: Eshuis Accountants en Adviseurs
Author: Twente.com

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