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Emerging Business Studies & the Value of Measuring Your Impacts

A growing body of students is unpacking the indicators that make up our current economic systems and the impact better business practice can have on people and the planet. Take Meena Jacobs for example. In late 2021, she and her fellow classmates at Grand Rapids Public Museum High School visited People First Economy at Little Space Studio for a tour and discussion about triple bottom line concepts and the commitment of B Corps to our community.

People First Economy President, Hanna Schulze, spoke about the value of interdependence and impact measurement in our economy, sharing “the collaborative efforts from leaders across all sectors of society can build a broader global movement of people using business as a force for good. Everyone who works for, buys from, invests in, learns, or teaches about good business practice supports a shared economic prosperity for all.” We know that companies tracking their social, environmental, and economic impacts are 63% more likely to survive a recession, as well as, greater revenue growth and higher employee satisfaction (Yale Center for Business and the Environment).

In Michigan alone, we have 150+ businesses measuring their social and environmental impacts through Good For Michigan and 24+ B Corp businesses certified through B Lab. Jacobs and classmates learned that “B Corps and businesses involving the triple bottom line are a better business practice not only for the businesses themselves, for the planet, and for people--including you.”

Since the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School students visited, they were assigned a final project highlighting triple bottom line practices and the business role in pursuing social and environmental impacts. Meena Jacobs specifically chose to study the value and benefits of businesses pursuing B Corp certification. Jacobs sites Madcap Coffee Company, a West Michigan-based business, as a company working toward B Corp certification. While it may take companies like Madcap significant time, capacity, and financial commitment to begin verifying their social and environmental initiatives through third-party verification tools like the BIA provided by B Lab, Jacobs shares:

"Trying to give back to your community or to make the world a better place is definitely a good thing, and if you can make money doing so, why not? While this doesn’t mean that you need to become a B Corp immediately, it’s an admirable goal to work towards. Getting a B Corp certification will prove that a business lives up to a better cause for people and the planet."

The students at Grand Rapids Public Museum School are indicative of a new wave of consumers and employees seeking to understand how they can make greater impact through our economy, in which we are all active players. Dig into Meena Jacobs’ full report here.

Be a Part of the Change

Madcap Coffee Company, as Jacobs studied, and other companies are part of a community of changemakers across the state putting people first. Every year, at least five businesses are added to a growing group of awardees honored for the impacts they are making across Michigan through the Good For Michigan Awards. Read more about our 2021 award winners and the steps your business can take to make measuring your impacts a habit in 2022.

Be a part of the change. Get started today! It could be your business honored at the next Good For Awards ceremony in May 2022.

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