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Future Space businesses joining the B Corp movement

December 21st 2020

“To be or not to be – a force for good” – Andy Hawkins, Business On Purpose

Five weeks ago, three Future Space businesses joined the B Corp Business Impact Assessment (BIA) cohort with Andy Hawkins. They set out on a 10-week programme to complete their BIA, the first step on the journey to becoming a B Corp certified company.

We caught up with Andy Hawkins (Chief Purpose Officer, Business On Purpose) to see how the first half of the programme has progressed.

Tell us a bit about you and your company

I worked in tech for a couple of decades and also spent over 5 years working in Africa in various different community-based development projects. Whilst I have worked with some great companies in the corporate world there was an almost singular focus on profits for shareholders. My time in Africa taught me that purpose was also really important, which is why I am enjoying helping companies with their B Corp process so much.

What is BCorp BIA and why is it important?

The B Corp Impact Assessment tool enables companies of all sizes to measure their social and environmental impact. It’s a robust process and externally verified which I think adds to it’s credibility and widespread appeal. It's also the critical first step to completing the full B Corp certification.

What is the 10-week programme you are running?

The 10 week programme is aimed at SME and Micro businesses to help them get started on their own Impact Assessment, and guide them in what’s needed to become B Corp Certified. Of course it’s possible for any company to do this themselves in isolation, but the cohort approach benefits from shared learning, knowledge, encouragement and accountability – all of which are hugely valuable.

Who is involved? 

It's a real mix. The current cohort includes companies involved in tech, accountancy, business coaching, fund-raising and investing.  It’s been great to have helped the first cohort get started with a good number from Future Space. Their commitment and enthusiasm is hopefully a real inspiration to other companies to take a look and get started on their own journey to improve their social and environmental impact.

Parm Cory-Jones, Centre Manager for Future Space is helping companies to get the evidence they need for the assessment - "We are working with UWE to provide key information about the facilities, including energy sources, water usage, and waste protocals – The B Corp Impact Assessment is the first step for these companies on their B Corp journey. We are committed to helping them achieve this goal, and we will continue to work with them to make improvements where we can."

Aimee Skinner, Innovation Manager for Future Space worked with Andy to bring together the first cohort of Future Space businesses - "It’s great to see the cohort working together to complete the BIA. The joined-up approach from the cohort, our Future Space teams, and UWE, means that we can better support their questions as well as their ongoing efforts. We hope to see more businesses joining the programme in the future."

What’s next?

We are on a break for the Christmas period and we will resume for the final five weeks in January. At the end of the programme companies can choose to proceed with the submission of their B Corp Certification request (if they are able to comply sufficiently and have the correct score) or, regardless of whether they choose to proceed further or not, they will have learned what they are doing well and what areas need further work or improvement.

There is then a suggested roadmap for what can be done in future and an opportunity to connect with other local B Corps to learn from and inspire each other.

“76% of the UK public believe that capitalism either isn’t working properly or is harmful. B Corp is a great way to change how and why we work – and make a difference together. I would encourage each and every company in the UK to step up and examine what they can do to be part of the change to we all need” - Andy Hawkins, Business On Purpose

A new cohort is planned to commence mid-January. If you are considering how to use your business as a force for good, and you want to find out more about joining a cohort with Andy in 2021, then take a look at https://businessonpurpose.uk/bcorp

January 12th 2021

Future Space Guest Blog: Jack Thompson, Founder of Ginkgo Business Development

Jack joined the advisory_space programme earlier this year as our virtual in-residence Business Development and Sales specialist, providing expert advice and support to the Future Space community. We asked Jack why having a good network is so important for businesses.

December 21st 2020

An interview with Thanh Quan-Nicholls, Lead for the Digital Innovation Fund at UWE

Lead for the Digital Innovation Fund at the University of the West of England (UWE), Thanh caught up with us recently to talk about her role, some of the work the team do to support start-ups and SMEs, and their plans to expand  the business support offering in 2021.

December 9th 2020

A bird’s-eye view of Future Space

Take a short flight around Future Space’s main networking and meeting areas in this video captured by drone footage. See Future Space like you’ve never seen it before.