On any entrepreneurial journey there are big decisions to make. For us at BloodLink, we are at a particularly exciting stage where many new opportunities crop up from many different directions. To decide which road to go down can inevitably be a challenge, but we are guided by the fact that any decision we do make should take us closer to achieving our mission – fighting blood deficiency and blood wastage around the world. This week, we made one of those big decisions. We are now very pleased to announce that BloodLink will be one of the first in Scandinavia to become a certified B-Corporation, something we believe will strengthen our business and propel us into a new phase of startup life.

But what does it actually mean to be a certified B-Corporation? Are B-Corps the same as non-profit organizations? And what can you gain from collaborating with BloodLink as a B-Corp? To answer these questions, we have put together this short article that goes through the “what, how and why” of B-Corp life.

What does it mean to be a certified B-Corp?

Representative from B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corps, say that the “B” in B Corp indicates that a corporation is beneficial to society. To become a B Corp, BloodLink had to score at least 80 out of 200 points in the B Impact Assessment.

The B Impact assessment addresses the social and environmental impacts of a business. It also evaluates how successful the business is at generating income, since the company has to be self-sustainable. This is one of the main differences that separates an NGO from BloodLink as a social enterprise:

“A B-Corp is neither a strict for-profit business or nonprofit, but can be termed as a “for-benefit” enterprise. B-Corps are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.”

B Lab evaluated how BloodLink creates value for non-shareholding stakeholders, including our employees, our local community and the environment. To become a B Corp, it is fundamental to follow a shareholder and people-centric approach, rather than a traditional strategy that is focused solely on shareholders. That means including the people that you want to help in your solution design, and providing them with benefits that go beyond the traditional business-customer relationship.

For us, being a certified B-Corp allows us to redefine success in business. We want to be valued not only in terms of our earned income, but also on the social impact that we have – improving the lives of patients and their families who struggle to find blood when they need it.

Why become a certified B-Corp?

Every company is different, but there are many benefits to becoming a B-Corp. BloodLink’s choice stems from our belief that a purpose driven, for-profit enterprise is the best route for maximum social impact. It also means that BloodLink can prove the value of our work to our followers, our shareholders and our stakeholders:

B Corp certification is to sustainable business what LEED certification is to green building or Fair Trade certification is to coffee.” B Lab

Today more than 1,600 businesses from 42 countries and 120 different industries are certified B Corps.

BloodLink will continuously measure our Key Performance Indicators in alignment with the B Impact Assessment. This makes sure that our purpose, to create a blood sufficient world, is aligned with generating profit. We see this as an extremely useful tool that will help us to stay on track and continue down the right path.

How can you collaborate with BloodLink as a B-Corp?

As an ambitious startup company, BloodLink is focused on creating a strong network with shareholders that have the common value of wanting to make a positive social impact. It gives us purpose, motivates us, and excels us to scale our business. A growing number of investors with different backgrounds and motivations now see the potential of this type of investment, and have entered this fast-growing market. By investing in BloodLink, you are opening up to the many diverse and viable opportunities the impact investment market has to offer.

What is Impact investing?

Impact investments are investments given to companies, organizations and funds, with the purpose of generating social and environmental impact along with a financial return.
The impact investment market provides capital to challenge important societal issues around the globe.
Why impact investing?
An impact investment allows investors to provide proof of financial viability.
As BloodLink advances towards creating blood sufficiency using technology, it will create social impact and a successful revenue model. This will give investors a chance to fulfill their financial and social goals.
Impact investment challenges the outdated notion that social and environmental issues can only be addressed by philanthropic donations to NGOs, and that investments can only produce financial returns. This is where our expertise as a social enterprise comes in. To invest in BloodLink is to invest in a strong philanthropic strategy that generates income.
Data collected in 2015 Annual Impact Survey

The impact investment market is a new term for many. However, it is not a new phenomenon, and investors have been making impact investments for decades. In recent years, it has gained wider interest across different sectors and market. This has led to the emergence of a new collaborative international effort to develop a high-functioning market that supports impact investing.

As a new member of the B Corp community, we look forward to all the experiences to come in the near future. If you want to follow our journey, and read more about our work, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

To get in touch with us directly, contact our CEO Amit Lohiya, at info@bloodlink.life

Want more? Read about impact investment or visit the B Corporation website.