When Sam is asked why he started with BCorp, he responds as follows: “It was not just one Eureka moment. Several insights came together. I was inspired to delve more deeply into meaningful entrepreneurship in early 2016, after some meetings by the Meaningful Economy in Twente. The corona period was also a time where I could reflect on entrepreneurship.”
“I already knew that I wanted to be a pioneer when I was a student. This drive led to the establishment of the translation agency Perfect. It also made me want to give more meaning to entrepreneurship. By starting with self-management and introducing collective profit-sharing, for example, and by now being one of the first organisations in the Netherlands to be BCorp certified. I realised that companies cause the current (climate) problems in several cases, and I want to be part of the solution instead of the problem”, says Sam.
“Wanting to be part of the solution made me look into the international BCorp standard because BCorp aims to create a global movement of entrepreneurs who want to contribute to a better world with their business models. Or, as they put it: Business as a force for good.”
“As a translation agency whose mission is to make a positive contribution to globalisation, this appeals to us. Becoming part of this movement proved to demand a lot from us as an organisation”, says Sam van Gentevoort. “Even though striving for social and societal values seemed logical to us, becoming certified still took a lot of work. The biggest challenge turned out to be BCorp systematic approach. An approach that requires you to substantiate your goals, for example, wanting to reduce CO2 emissions. You don’t get away with simply saying that you want to do this. You have to substantiate it with facts and figures.”
“It was a confirmation that the course we had already set is in line with the BCorp standard. We spend 20% of our annual profit on profit sharing and sustainability, for example. We invest in local charities and tree planting with this, among other things. How we already gave substance to our terms of employment, our vision of diversity and the way we deal with our employees also fit in seamlessly with the BCorp standard”, says Sam van Gentevoort. He also describes his experiences. “It started as ‘one of Sam’s ideas’, but it is now an integral part of our company philosophy, where earning money and doing good go hand in hand. Some colleagues first thought it would only cost money, but they now see the added value. This has required me, as the owner, to ensure a good balance between taking charge and giving direction. To be innovative and to adapt to the wishes and needs of my colleagues. The trick is to be ahead of the game by ‘just enough’ to keep moving.”
Lastly, Sam has a piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs: “Just start the BCorp trajectory, I the philosophy behind it appeals to you. New insights are bound to emerge. And ask yourself this: ‘What would a more beautiful world look like in 10 years, and how can I contribute to it?’”
BCorp is a quality label for entrepreneurs that assesses corporate social responsibility. There are over 2,750 “Benefit Corporations” worldwide, located in over 50 countries and spread over more than 130 industries. Saxion Conscious Business Lab and Eshuis Accountants and Advisors focus on supporting entrepreneurs in Twente that want to give more meaning to their business in a circular way, focusing on people and society. These entrepreneurs started BCorp Twente.
Date: 8 June 2021 |
Source of tekst: Bcorp |