How B Corps can Stay Resilient in Economic Uncertainty

Ryan Honeyman
3 min readOct 16, 2023

The current economic landscape, marked by fluctuating markets, supply chain disruptions, and global upheavals, poses significant challenges for businesses worldwide. For B Corporations, organizations that balance purpose with profit, these challenges are placed in the context of their commitment to social and environmental good. In such times, how can B Corps maintain their mission-driven focus and emerge even stronger?

The Power of Community

One of the primary strengths of B Corps is their inherent sense of community. B Corps are not just individual entities striving for a better world; they are part of a global movement. In times of uncertainty, this community is perhaps our most valueable safety net.

  • Shared Resources: B Corps can collaborate to share resources, whether it’s best practice ideas, office space, employees, or even distribution networks. By pooling resources, they can cut costs and increase efficiency.
  • Knowledge Exchange: With a plethora of diverse businesses under the B Corp umbrella, there’s a wealth of knowledge to tap into. Topic-specific groups on the B Hive (an online forum for employees of Certified B Corps) along with regularly scheduled forums hosted by B Lab and B Corps themselves, can allow companies to exchange insights and strategies to navigate economic challenges.

Embrace Collaboration Over Competition

In traditional business paradigms, competition is often the default. However, in the B Corp community, collaboration is integral.

  • Joint Ventures: By collaborating on projects or products, B Corps can share the financial and operational burdens, allowing them to explore new avenues without bearing the full risk.
  • Unified Marketing: Collective marketing campaigns (such as B Corp Month in March of each year) can help B Corps reach wider audiences without individual companies incurring all of the costs.

Adaptability: The Key to Resilience

For B Corps, adaptability doesn’t mean abandoning their mission. Instead, it is about finding new and innovative ways to stay true to their values, even when the ground beneath them is shifting.

  • Diversify Revenue Streams: While a core product or service may have been the initial draw, B Corps should explore diversifying their offerings or venturing into new markets to offset risks. For example, at LIFT Economy, we created the Next Economy MBA — an online course that teaches you the fundamentals of business from a regenerative, racially just, and locally-self reliant perspective. This has allowed us to diversify our revenue away from solely relying on 1:1 consulting services.
  • Flexible Business Models: Whether it’s transitioning to e-commerce, exploring direct-to-consumer models, or vertically integrating their supply chain, flexibility can help B Corps stay operational and efficient in changing landscapes.
  • Engage with Stakeholders: Economic uncertainty affects every stakeholder, from employees to suppliers to consumers. Regularly engaging with them can provide valuable insights into their needs and concerns, allowing B Corps to tailor their strategies accordingly.

Final Thoughts

While economic uncertainties are often daunting, they offer each of us an opportunity for introspection and growth. For B Corps, these challenges are a chance to demonstrate the values that define us: a commitment to a better world, a belief in the power of community, and an unwavering dedication to our mission. By leveraging our community, embracing collaboration, and staying adaptable, B Corps can weather these uncertain times and emerge more resilient.

Questions for You

  • For B Corps and other mission-driven businesses out there, how else are you staying resilient (while seeking to maintain your positive social and environmental impact) in economic uncertainty?
  • What other best practices or advice would you share with your peers?

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Ryan Honeyman

Partner at LIFT Economy. B Corp Nerd. Coauthor of “The B Corp Handbook” and "The Next Economy MBA." Co-host of "Beyond the B" and "Next Economy Now" podcasts.