KnowledgeOwl Joins the B Corp Movement
by Marybeth Alexander

KnowledgeOwl Joins the B Corp Movement

As of December 6, 2023, KnowledgeOwl is owlficially B Corporation Certified! Like Patagonia, King Arthur Flour, and our friends over at Help Scout, we are now part of a global movement of companies that are committed to using business as a force for good.

What Is a B Corp?

A B Corp is a special kind of business that balances making a profit with making a difference. B Corps are companies that have committed to high standards of social and environmental responsibility, transparency, and accountability. Being certified as a B Corp is a badge of honor; it shows that a business is serious about doing good in the world, beyond just doing well financially.

To become a B Corp, companies undergo a rigorous assessment process. They must demonstrate that they care deeply about their impact – on their employees, the environment, their customers, and the community. It's not just about what they sell or how much they earn, but how they operate and contribute positively to society.

B Corp Certification means that a company has:

  • Been verified as meeting B Lab’s high standards for social and environmental impact.

  • Made a legal commitment to stakeholder governance.

  • Demonstrated accountability and transparency by disclosing this record of performance in a public B Corp profile.

When you see a business with the B Corp logo, you're looking at a company that's part of a global movement for sustainable and ethical business practices. These companies are leading the way in showing how business can be a force for good, striving not just to be better in the world, but better for the world as well.

B Corp Certification does not mean that a company is perfect or that it has fully achieved its highest potential, but it does show that a company is part of a global community of businesses that are collectively striving to meet rising standards for positive social and environmental performance.

Why KnowledgeOwl Became a B Corp

I’ve written about our B Corp journey in the past. In short, I see our "why" as two-fold:

  1. We wanted to demonstrate what is in our hearts. I have always believed that KnowledgeOwl was a different type of company, and profit was never the main goal. Being a B Corp was a way for us to actualize something we strongly believed in, and it gave us a framework to prove our goodness to ourselves and the world.

  2. We needed support to become the type of business and people we longed to be. After completing the B Impact Assessment for the first time, I realized that it was a roadmap for becoming a better CEO, a better version of myself, and a better company. As someone who is good at dreaming and maybe not so good at the details, it gave me the structure and plan to become the person and company I believed we could be (and already were at heart).

As the CEO of a small software company, I’ve always believed that there was a different way of doing business. I was inspired by other companies, software and otherwise, who were marching to the beat of another drum. Whether it was Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor – who taught me that you can run a heart-centered business – or King Arthur Flour – who planted the seed for the idea of an employee-owned, B Corp for-profit business. I had a dream that KnowledgeOwl would join the ranks and be known not just for awesome knowledge base software, but also for running a business that isn’t about money at all costs.

Our B Corp journey started almost on a whim. Like many of our life stories now, it is tied in with the global pandemic of 2020. Upon realizing that I could use the newly discovered time to become a better version of myself, I signed up for online therapy to assist in my pursuit of self-improvement. Here’s the snippet of that conversation that is burned in my heart:

Therapist: "What does being a better version of yourself look like?"

Me: "Being a better CEO."

Therapist: "What does that look like?"

Me: "Being a B Corp."

Therapist: "What’s stopping you from being a B Corp?"

Great question! Shortly after this conversation, our B Corp journey began in May 2020.

How KnowledgeOwl Became a B Corp

The story of all that’s happened between May 2020 and December 2023 for us to get here is rather involved, so we’ll be sharing it in pieces over the next twelve months.

For now, I can share that it took us a couple of tries to pass certification. Throughout the certification process, our team debated and created a lot of policies and procedures – many of which helped us zero in on the things that we care the most about and to be more intentional about building them into our culture.

Our certification process required a lot of work from a wide variety of owls. It takes a parliament to become a B Corp (at least for us)!

Stay tuned for more on our B Corp Story

We’ve spent over 3 years working towards B Corp certification, and we’ve learned so much along the way. Over the next year, we will be sharing more about our journey, how we do things at KnowledgeOwl, and what the future holds for us as a certified B Corp.

Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook and subscribe to our blog below for more on our B Corp journey!

Marybeth Alexander

Marybeth is the Knowledge Goddess and Chief Executive Owl at KnowledgeOwl. Connect with her on LinkedIn

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