To be or not to be a B Corp

A little over a year ago we started Grow Your Mind. Our reason for being was and is still simple — to make mental health awareness playful. We had a vision of producing stunning resources that enabled wellbeing to be visible in homes and families. These resources would ideally be produced in Australia, be visually beautiful (no more eye sores) and be available to all regardless of their socio-economic or cultural background. We had employed the services of an incredible designer, Jane Hunt, who was ready to roll. We only faced the small and inconvenient problem of having no money to do this.

So we spent 40 days crowdfunding to our friends, family and wider community. The response was overwhelmingly positive, we had hoped for $75,000 and we ended up with $86,840. We also ended up with a great amount of fatigue. Asking people for money was shattering. We both knew we never wanted to be reliant on raising funds in that way again. We quickly put aside any ambition to become a charity and focused on how we could become a truly fantastic social venture. We loved the idea of running a company that used our business as a force for social good.

To be or not to be a B Corp?

To be honest, there was never any question in it. We wanted desperately to be a B Corp. In setting up Grow Your Mind we had been inspired by Patagonia and the wide range of processes they had in place in order to be of benefit to the world.

Among many things, we needed to reach 80 points out of 200 by doing well in areas such as governance, community, environment and customers. During our assessment phone call both Tina and I shook with nerves as well as had moments of weepy nervous giggles as we were questioned about why and how we did things. We were quietly confident though, we had thought carefully about how we wanted to operate from the start. And we got there, 82.6!!! We are super proud to now be a certified B Corp!

This means we have met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Being a B Corp is a public declaration that Grow Your Mind has subscribed to a movement that uses business to do good.

Why was this important to us?

Our core values at Grow Your Mind are compassion, humour, respect and courage. We know that stress is often caused when values don’t match actions. By becoming a certified B Corp we are pledging our commitment to always be a values-driven business. These values act as a compass for Grow Your Mind. We will be pulled in many directions over the years, knowing our values and being accountable for our actions as a B Corp will guide us in the direction that feels true to who we want to be as a company.

Knowing your company’s values is like having a compass — steering you in the right direction when you find yourself lost!

Knowing your values can act as a compass, guiding you in the direction that feels true for you and your company.

Knowing your values can act as a compass, guiding you in the direction that feels true for you and your company.

We also believe society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and not for profits alone. Being a B Corp means Grow Your Mind is now part of a growing community of businesses that work toward reducing inequality, lowering levels of poverty, creating a healthier environment and ensuring we use our profits and growth as a means to an even greater end: a positive impact for employees, communities and the environment.

What does this say about Grow Your Mind?

That Grow Your Mind is committed to always giving back and that we value the environment and the different walks of life in it. We have received grants from the world’s most successful software company, Atlassian and one of Australia’s leading banks, Macquarie. Both knew that by doing so they were supporting a company that will always value people over profit.

If you are a school, family or individual looking to support good mental health in your setting there are many wonderful organisations and resources that currently exist. Use and invest in the ones that sit well with your environment. If you end up choosing Grow Your Mind, know that by investing in our products and services you will not only receive a high quality, you will also be supporting a company that is part of a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

Alice Peel