Mission-led businesses step up for most vulnerable as cost of living bites

LONDON, 28th September, 2022 -- New research shows that mission-led businesses(1) (60%) are more confident in their growth across the next 6 months than non mission-led businesses(2) (44%) and are more likely to be reducing the burden of the cost of living crisis for their employees, suppliers and local community. 

The data, released by B Lab UK, the home of the B Corp Movement in the UK and the Better Business Act (BBA) campaign, comes from a poll that asked UK businesses and members of the public(3) about their expectations when it comes to managing the cost of living crisis. The poll revealed that the UK public is crying out for help from businesses, with 69% of people saying that business leaders have a responsibility to reduce the burden of the cost of living crisis.

The research also polled companies that operate with principles of stakeholder governance (including Certified B Corporations, Social Enterprises, Community Interest Companies or businesses who have and legally embedded social purpose) and compared the results to a YouGov survey of non-mission led businesses, showing that: 

  • Mission-led businesses (24%) are 4x as likely to be providing additional support for underrepresented groups(4) than non-mission-led businesses (6%).

  • Mission-led businesses (65%) are 2.5x as likely to be mitigating financial challenges for workers than non-mission-led businesses (25%).

  • Mission-led businesses (53%) are over 3x as likely to provide non-monetary benefits for employees than non-mission-led businesses (15%).

  • Mission-led businesses (54%) are twice as likely to be establishing or maintaining good relationships with suppliers than non-mission-led businesses (27%).

Today, B Lab UK is releasing ‘The power of business’, a guide to action that delves into the different ways businesses can be a force for good during the current crisis. The guide includes innovative case studies about how companies, including The Big Issue, COOK and Virgin StartUp, are responding to the crisis to mitigate challenges for their workers, customers and the local community. 

Chris Turner, Executive Director of B Lab UK and Campaign Director for the BBA, commented:

“It's inspiring to see so many examples of businesses creating innovative approaches to support workers and communities. Businesses who recognise the interests of all stakeholders are not only going further to help, but are also more positive about their future growth - this approach is a win-win. Becoming a B Corp is one way that businesses can choose to make this commitment, but we need to go further to ensure that every business is part of the solutions we all need. The Better Business Act is calling for a change in the law to ensure all businesses align the interests of all stakeholders, not just their shareholders.”

Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland commented:

“I firmly believe that this mission-led, customer-focused, co-operative and caring approach – which I call ‘responsible social capitalism’ – is the right way forward for every business and for our country in these most challenging times.”

 

(1) Mission-led business data has been taken from a survey run by B Lab UK (full methodology in Notes to Editors)

(2) Non mission-led business data has been taken from a B2B survey of British businesses run by YouGov (full methodology in Notes to Editors)

(3) Data has been taken from a YouGov survey of the UK public (full methodology in Notes to Editors)

(4) These include people of colour; people with disabilities; people from a lower socioeconomic status; people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered; people of a nondominant religion; and retirees (SAGE Research Methods)

 

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About B Lab UK: B Lab is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, tools, and programs for business, and we certify companies — known as B Corps — who are leading the way. To date, our community includes 400,000 workers in over 5,000 B Corps across 80 countries and 155 industries, and more than 200,000 companies manage their impact with the B Impact Assessment and the SDG Action Manager. B Lab has created and led efforts to pass over 50 corporate statutes globally that enable stakeholder governance, with over 10,000 companies using the legal framework. To learn more and join the movement, visit www.bcorporation.net. As part of this global non-profit network, B Lab UK’s purpose is to redefine success in business through building a community of engaged businesses, raising awareness of the B Corp movement and influencing change in the UK economy. Find out more.

B Lab UK contact: media@bcorporation.uk 

About the Better Business Act (BBA): 

The Better Business Act (BBA) is a business-led campaign, driven by leaders who recognise that the law has fallen behind business culture and who have proven that this approach to business works for everyone. 

The BBA is urging all of Britain’s business leaders to call on the Government to amend Section 172 of the Companies Act to ensure businesses are legally responsible for benefiting workers, customers, communities and the environment while delivering profit. 

To achieve this, we are bringing together a broad and growing coalition of leaders from across all sectors and all regions of the UK to help deliver this new contract between business and society. Find out more.

Better Business Act contact: act@betterbusinessact.org