B Corp Clinic pairs students with aspiring B Corp companies

Elon students joined students from local universities for a clinic focused on helping local companies improve their environmental and social impact.

The 2017 Spring B Corp Clinic served as an immersive clinic for students to help local companies aspiring to become a Certified B Corp.

B-Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Beginning in February, Elon students joined students from local universities to work in teams consulting for local companies seeking B Corp certification. Students gained hands-on experience with the B Corp assessment and researched best practices of B Corps.

Hosted by N.C. State University, participants included students from Elon University, Appalachian State University, N.C. State University, Duke University, Wake Technical Community College, and other area schools.

The Elon students and companies that participated are: Gabrielle Corner, Katie Kendall, Meghan Greene and Paige Madden for R+M Agency; Sydney Harris for Redwoods; and Amy Zheng and Scott Johnsen for Red Hat.

“I loved participating in the B Corp Clinic because it helped me discover my desire to work with mission-driven companies,” Harris said. “It was amazing to be a part of a community that is so passionate about using business as a force for good.”

Halfway through the spring semester, teams gave presentations to show their companies and other students what they were learning during the clinic.

“My interest in B Corps began after hearing John Replogle, CEO and president of Seventh Generation, speak at Elon back in the fall,” Kendall said. “This clinic allowed me to immerse myself in the assessment and see what it takes for companies to attain this certification. After successfully finishing the clinic, I hope to one day work for a Certified B Corp or to help a company achieve certification.”

Alyssa Martina, director of the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Elon University, served as the faculty advisor to Elon students.

The clinic program culminated on April 28 with final presentations at The Frontier, a conference center in the Research Triangle Park in Durham.