Companies across the southeast United States that balance purpose and profits will come together for their first conference to learn how to improve their businesses.
Florida for Good, co-founded by Jared Meyers, a St. Petersburg real estate developer, will co-host the first-ever BLD [B Corp Leadership Development] Back Better Southeast Conference, a virtual gathering on Nov. 12.
“These BLD conferences have been held in other states, but none have been held in the Southeast. This year we decided we needed to do this,” said Jennifer Moreau, executive director of Florida for Good.
There are relatively few B Corp companies in the southeast U.S., but conference organizers hope to change that mentality through education.
“Either they don’t know they can do it that way or they are so ingrained in the profit-only and shareholder-only mentality. That’s something we want to change,” Moreau said. “We want to talk to people about a stakeholder mentality, to consider employees, to consider the environment and think about something other profits. A company has to be profitable, but it won’t stay in business if it’s not considering all of its stakeholders.”
There are nearly 3,400 companies around the world that are certified B Corporation and are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. There are 20 certified B Corp companies in Florida, including Meyers’ Salt Palm Development and Legacy Vacation Resorts, as well as Diamond View, a video production company, and Harness, a subscription philanthropy initiative, both in Tampa.
The BLD Back Better Southeast Conference is not just for B Corp companies, Moreau said.
“We want to include the social enterprises, the Conscious Capitalism chapters, the 1 Percent for the Planet members, anyone who owns a sustainable company and who wants to network with others that they didn’t know existed in the region, and also to help companies that have just heard about this and want more information. We want to give them a taste of what it’s like running a B Corp company, what’s important and should be considered in business operations, to light their fire and let them know here are the next steps,” Moreau said.
The day-long event will feature networking and learning opportunities, including discussions with local and national B Corp leaders. Tim Moore, CEO of Diamond View, is a panelist for B Corp 101, which will focus on how the B impact assessment tool can improve business. Other sessions will focus on branding, climate change, leadership and impact investing. Meyers will host a virtual happy hour event at the end of the conference.
More details and registration are here.