"I was honoured to be the founding Chairman of B Lab UK , contributing to better business and the building of a more holistic approach to measuring total impact upon our economy and society."
Mark is the CEO of Time Partners. Mark was previously the founder of the merchant banking group Maizels Westerberg and has since founded a number of businesses in the technology, advisory, financial services and investment sectors. He was Managing Director of the private equity firm Doughty Hanson, Chair of LM Glasfiber (the global renewable energy group) and started the African venture capital firm 8 Miles LLP with Bob Geldof. He co-founded the Centre for Social Justice, the Early Intervention Foundation and B Labs (UK). In March 2015, he was appointed to the Board of the BBC Trust, and was the Trustee for England for two years. Mark was a member of the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force in 2014, and was appointed to the Triennial Review of the Big Lottery Fund by the UK Cabinet Office in the same year. He is the author of the External Rate of Return with the London School of Economics.
"We are living in an extraordinary time in history. Capitalism is going through a significant shift – moving away from a traditional focus on just shareholder value to a much broader set of ‘triple bottom line’ returns. The organisations in the B Corp community recognise this shift and are committed to building a better future by using business as a force for good. Hanging out with these businesses gives me huge hope for the world my two sons are going to inherit."
Charmian believes in the power of business as a force for good. Over the course of her career, she has experienced first-hand what it is like to be an entrepreneur, an intrapreneur and a systempreneur.
Charmian co-founded Volans, a change agency, in 2008 with John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan. Volans was the second UK company to certify as a B Corp – and in 2015 she went on to start B Lab UK with fellow entrepreneur, James Perry, where she continues to support the growth of the global B Corp movement. In addition to her role as Chair of B Lab UK, Charmian also sits the board of B Team UK, is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Council at the ICAEW (because she also believes that accountants will save the world) and recently joined LWARB’s Investment Committee.
In her new role as Entrepreneur in Residence and Special Advisor to the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Charmian is focused on creating spaces for students interested in using new tools and business models to solve the world’s most complex challenges. She is also guiding the development of the newly launched Circular Economy Lab and will be teaching an MBA class on this subject this spring.
Over her career, Charmian has been a Special Advisor for many leading organisations including Grant Thornton and Bridges Ventures and has had the pleasure of working with leadership teams from corporations including Nike, Allianz and HP as they’ve developed new social innovation, partnership and investment strategies.
“Business is the most powerful force invented by mankind. It is obvious that we can - and now must - harness this for a greater purpose than short term profit maximisation.”
James is co-founder and Director of COOK, a certified B Corporation. He is a Founding Partner of Snowball LLP, a multi-asset impact investment manager which manages the assets of Panahpur, which made the transition from grant-making trust to for-beneficiary investment company under James’ leadership. He is co-founder of B Lab UK and a member of B Lab’s Global Governance Council.
"I believe that there is a better way to do business and that the B Corp Movement is bang on the money. I think what is happening in the Movement is the start of something big."
Luke is a Partner at the law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, which was the first law firm to become a B Corp in the UK, and the firm that developed the concept of the community interest company. Luke advises charities, social enterprises and other businesses which aim to have a positive impact on society and the environment. He has a particular interest in the relationship between purpose and impact in different kinds of businesses. Read Luke's full bio here.
"The assumption that there is a trade –off between financial performance and creating a positive social and environmental impact is wrong. B Corps are here to show that there is a better and more sustainable way of doing business."
Louise is a Senior Associate at law firm, Bates Wells Braithwaite, the first city law firm to become a B Corp in the UK. Louise advises a range of clients, including charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and responsible businesses on a broad range of legal and commercial issues, ranging from corporate structure, establishment, governance, regulatory matters and financing. See Louise’s full bio here.
B Lab UK is a UK registered charity, which exists to support a community of UK-based B Corps. We support them to join and contribute to this global movement, linking UK Certified B Corps together with B Corps around the world to use the power of business together to address social and environmental problems. There’s an eclectic and energetic group of people behind the B Corp movement in the UK. Together we’re dedicated to making a difference in the British business environment.
"The biggest privilege of working for B Lab is collaborating with extraordinary leaders from a wide range of companies. These individuals are reinventing the way business works to serve all, not just a few. They inspire others to solve the problems we face today and the result is the snowball effect we are witnessing. Change has to happen - and it is!"
As Executive Director of B Lab UK, Katie is leading the charge to roll out the B Corp movement in the UK.
Katie has previous recent experience as Interim Director to establish Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, a new sister organisation to Big Society Capital. Prior to this, Katie was brought in to a new post of Social Investment Advisor to the City of London Corporation, to develop and implement a social investment strategy and £20m fund for the Corporation. She has worked as an economist in UK local, regional and national government, ran a social enterprise in Bulgaria for four years and was appointed to the EU panel of experts on social business. She is a trustee to two international charities, a trustee of West London Zone and an advisor to a founding B Corp.
“What I value most about the B Corp movement is the hard work that every single B Corp puts into creating positive social and environmental impact. They not only talk the talk but they walk the walk. They are proof that every business, no matter what it does, where it’s based or how big it is can have a positive impact.”
Georgie has been with B Lab since April 2015 and focusses on growing the movement across the UK. She supports companies through the certification process, trains individuals who are looking to become B Corp experts and runs wider engagement programmes.
Before joining B Lab UK, Georgie was an On Purpose Associate where she gained valuable experience across the social impact sector. Prior to On Purpose, Georgie was a consultant at PwC where she worked on large scale change projects for the Financial Services sector and qualified as an ACA accountant.
“Business has a significant role to play in shaping our future and the future of our planet. At B Lab we have the opportunity to help businesses create the change we need today and to protect the planet for generations to come. The B Corp community are building a global movement that is reinventing business and to be involved in that is a privilege.”
Kate joined B Lab UK in just after its launch in October 2015. As the Community Manager she works with the existing community to strengthen and build the B Corp movement, through campaigns, connections, events and whatever else arises!
Previously she worked for The Portland Trust, an ‘action tank’ co-founded by Sir Ronald Cohen, promoting peace and stability in Israel and Palestine through economic development. Before that Kate spent four years organising international conferences for large multinationals. Kate graduated from Leeds University where she read International Relations and focused on the Middle East.
“I have always believed that businesses have a significant role to play in creating positive change. Working for B Lab was the perfect opportunity to help businesses build and shift the paradigm in a positive way.”
Catherine joined B Lab UK in March 2016. As Team Support, she runs the B Corp UK social media, helps plan events, coordinates community engagement and provides general support across the rest of the team.
Catherine has previously worked as a Project Manager for a social investment fund in Bristol, and co-founded a bicycle rental scheme whilst studying Sociology at the University of Bristol.
B Leaders is a training programme, designed by B Lab UK, to empower people who want to lead organisations through the B Corp certification and work with businesses to measure what matters.
Standards Council and Policy Council
More information about our Standards and Policy Councils to come.