Becoming a B Corp has been central to our startup mission

Lauren Murrell explains why B Corp certification became one of the most powerful facets of her skincare brand's identity.

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:

If you’ve come across the B Corp movement, it might be through the participation of big companies including Propercorn, The Body Shop and Ben & Jerry’s.

But you might not have immediately associated the movement with smaller-scale startups. In fact, the B Corp movement is something you can get involved with right from the beginning of your journey as a founder.

It might even have a strengthening impact on your company mission.

Natural skincare startup By Sarah London certified as a B Corp at an early stage. Here, Lauren Murrell (By Sarah London co-founder) talks about her decision and the growing UK B Corp movement.

What is a B Corp?

From its origin in 2015, the B Corp movement has been on a mission to embed inclusion, equity, environmental care, regeneration and diversity within businesses.

There are currently over 6,000 B Corps, spanning 85 countries – and over 1,300 in the UK alone.

The certification process verifies organizations according to various assessments, including a ‘B Corp Impact Assessment’ and a legal requirement (in which the B Corp commitment is incorporated into a company’s constitutional documents).

For more practical details, check out our article on How to become a B Corp

Why should startups consider B Corp status?

The power of a legal commitment

Speaking about her decision to certify, Lauren says: ‘There are so many accreditation, certifications and registrations that you can have as a business. But for me, I was really interested because you change your legal constitution as a business when you’re a B corporation.

‘Making that legal commitment is so powerful: it sets itself apart from other types of registrations and certifications. It really is that gold standard in sustainability.’

The legal requirement (incorporating a commitment to the B Corp values in the constitutional documents of the company) is clearly powerful.

And bear in mind, too, that if you’re going for external funding at some point, this is the type of commitment that will be noticed by investors – in particular, if your company has a social impact mission at the core of its work.

The B Corp community

Once you become a B Corp, you join the thousands of other companies in the network. This means being included in the B Corp directory on the official website homepage (a list of B Corps that are given a spotlight for anyone interested in working with – or learning from – them).

You’ll also receive invites to social events, regular updates on the B Corp movement, and opportunities to share your work with the wider community.

While startup life can be incredibly challenging, support networks like your local B Corp group might be able to provide some assistance. There might even be a specific working group within your B Corp sector.

Lauren’s startup, for example, is part of the B Corp Beauty Coalition (a collection of beauty industry B Corps coming together to share best practice and try to make the beauty industry as sustainable as possible).

Lauren and Sarah Murrell, cofounders of By Sarah London
Lauren and Sarah Murrell, cofounders of By Sarah London

A clear statement to customers and stakeholders

The world of marketing can seem inauthentic: we’re overwhelmed by messages, promises and statements from companies and brands.

It can be easy to feel a sense of mistrust – we often don’t understand regulations or certifications within a specific industry, and it can be hard to know which ones to value.

But, the B Corp certification is a clear statement – it’s globally recognised, supported by major world-wide brands, and points to your purpose-led mission.

As Lauren says: ‘sustainability is no longer going to be a ‘nice to have’ aspect for consumers. It’s becoming essential that all brands move towards sustainability as much as possible. And the B Corp certification is a great way to communicate that we’re taking clear steps in that direction’.

Related reading:

Profile headshot of Eloise Skinner, entrepreneur and author
Eloise Skinner

Eloise Skinner is an author, therapist and founder. Her work focuses on meaning, purpose and values, and her newest book is 'But Are You Alive? - How To Design A Life Worth Living'.
Written by:

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top