- Posted by Lauren Grattan
- On September 22, 2019
A year ago, nonprofit B Lab certified Mission Driven Finance as a B Corporation—akin to organic or fair trade certification but for our whole company. We were delighted to join the B Corp movement with other folks using business as a force for good.
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone. The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.https://bcorporation.net/about-b-corps
Little did we know that our aggregate score of 105.7 put us on the higher end of certified firms. (To be honest, the chart made us feel like we were just scraping by. We tend towards overachieving. Have you noticed?) We already have plans to incorporate even more impactful business practices, and aspire to our friends at Dr. Bronner’s up the road in Vista who lead the field in strong values to drive strong business growth, a resilient Earth, and fulfilled people.
Despite us always having room to grow, this month B Lab named Mission Driven Finance as one of the Best For The World for our incredible customers—the changemaking companies we support with personalized technical assistance and capital. We rank in the top 10 percent of all 3,000+ B Corps around the world for the positive impact we make together with our customers!
We’re proud to have independent verification of two facts we’ve long known:
- Our borrowers are truly the best.
- To grow their community impact, best-in-class small businesses, social enterprises, and nonprofits need the kind of flexible impact-based capital and hands-on support that Mission Driven Finance provides.
Even with a fairly narrow tool of $100k-500k debt,* all our transactions in Advance are highly customized to both meet the needs of community-based borrowers and protect investor capital:
- $500k 9-month bridge loan to a government receivable (education)
- $350k convertible note to lead a $600k bridge round and coordinate other participating impact investors (artisan enterprise, workforce)
- $250k growth capital with milestone-based disbursements (local food systems, workforce)
- $350k refinance for a multi-entity structure with high-interest online loans (workforce)
- $300k bridge from Advance + structured $100k participation by a community foundation + $400k syndication for another local foundation to collectively unlock $12M in New Market Tax Credits and construction financing (education, social determinants of health)
- $200k bridge to Community Development Block Grant reimbursements structured in accordance with Islamic financing principles (inclusive entrepreneurship)
This creativity is what communities need, but couldn’t access until now.
Our specialty is understanding the needs of both community organizations and a variety of investors—capital seekers & capital allocators. That deep trust on both sides allows us to be a thoughtful translator and creative intermediary crafting new solutions for change.
We’re humbled to have the B Corp community recognize the impact of these different elements of our work, and we can’t wait to support more Best For The World customers with the flexible capital they need.
*And debt-like transactions. We also make investments in accordance with Islamic financing principles, avoiding interest-bearing structures in favor of increased transparency and deeper sharing of risk between investor and investee.