There are so many great things to say about Laurie Chin-Sayres, the founder and Director of Media Literacy Education at Labragirl Film Project. Choosing one thing (Ok, maybe two. Or three.), I’ll share that Laurie exudes this refreshing blend of intelligence, humility, and connectivity. Our team at Cultivation Center has gotten to know Laurie well over the past few years. It is fun for us to watch Laurie on her path to grow her business- which delivers essential media literacy and critical thinking skills to students learning in the modern world. Recently, Laurie executed a major pivot for her business when she decided to quit her pursuit of 501(c )3 status for Labragirl and instead become a Certified B Corp, thus embedding her mission into a for-profit LLC structure. This means her business will commit to meeting the high standards of performance for social and environmental impact set forth by B Lab, the non-profit that governs the B Corp community. Labragirl hasn’t earned B Corp’s badge of doing good for the world yet, but is soon to embark on the process of getting there. Here are a few insights from Laurie, who generously shared with us about her decision to go B.
C.C. Why did you initially pursue nonprofit status for Labragirl?
Laurie: When I started to developing media literacy education curriculum out of my film production company I strongly considered market reaction. “Everyone” would expect an education program to be a nonprofit. Labragirl’s goal has always been “media literacy for social good”. We teach students to use media to do good in the world. It seemed natural to become a nonprofit and, I didn’t know about B Corp at the time. So nonprofit seemed like the only choice for Labragirl.
C.C. At what point in your formation of Labragirl did you decide to make the switch to pursuing B Corp certification?
Laurie: It was certainly a process to get there. I became aware of B Corp when I attended a workshop describing different legal business entities. Later as I started filling out paperwork to become a nonprofit I started to realize that 501(c )3 status wasn’t really a functional fit for what we wanted Labragirl to be. I realized that becoming a nonprofit might actually hold back the mission: In terms of what we actually are- Labragirl is not a charity. Fundraising looked like it would be a real challenge. It seemed like, as a nonprofit, Labragirl wouldn’t get the kind of traction that it needs to be successful.
C.C. In that case why is becoming a Certified B Corp the better choice for Labragirl?
Laurie: It’s a great choice for many reasons. First I’ve learned that this will allow Labragirl to pivot and change course while keeping our mission in tact. I know that how we set up the company really defines how we do our work. Our legal formation combined with B Corp certification and Labragirl’s philosophy shapes what we do everyday. Plus being a part of the B Corp community, joining that movement is consistent with Labragirl’s mission to use media to create social change. There is so much alignment with what we’re doing. The B Corp movement is proactive and engaging. It legitimizes operations that deserve to be recognized for their power to make change.
C.C. Where are you in your pursuit of B Corp certification?
Laurie: I’m a the very early stages. I’ve done my research on becoming certified but right now time and bandwidth are big barriers for me. But I’m ready to move as soon as I’m done with the busy fall schedule for Labragirl. I’m looking forward to getting some support with the BIA (B Corp Impact Assessment). That will be awesome!
C.C. Is there anything else you want to share about Going B?
Laurie: If you’re considering going B Corp for your business, look at it in terms of joining a movement. The more people we can add to this mix of conversation the better. There is so much power we can bring to creating social change through business together.
Are you curious about the B Corp movement? We’re happy to talk with you about why going B can benefit your socially purposed business. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org