February 13, 2023

The Vital Role of Universities in Advancing Impact-Driven Business

Katherine Keango

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Academia plays a crucial role in advancing teaching and research on B Corps, social enterprises, and other forms of impact-driven businesses. B Corps, or benefit corporations, are for-profit companies that are legally bound to consider the impact of their decisions on society and the environment, in addition to maximizing shareholder value. Social enterprises, on the other hand, are organizations that use business models to solve social and environmental problems.

Academia can advance teaching and research on B Corps and social enterprises in several ways:

Offering relevant courses and programmes.

By offering courses and programs that focus on impact, academic institutions can educate future business leaders about the importance of incorporating social and environmental impact into their decision-making processes. This can include courses on sustainable business, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship. Academic institutions can also provide opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in the field, such as through internships and projects with B Corps and social enterprises.


Research is another area where academia can play a key role in advancing knowledge and understanding of B Corps and social enterprises. This can include; conducting case studies, surveys, and other forms of research to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing these types of organizations. Research can also be used to identify best practices and to develop new models and frameworks for impact-driven business. Additionally, research can be used to inform public policy and to advocate for changes in laws and regulations that support the growth and development of B Corps and social enterprises.


By collaborating with B Corps and social enterprises, universities can help bridge the gap between theory and practice. Collaboration can be done by working with organizations on research projects, providing consulting services, and acting as a bridge between the academic community and the business community. They can also provide support for B Corps and social enterprises through incubation and accelerator programs, which can help these organizations to grow and scale.

Creating a Platform for Discussion and Dialogue.

Universities can help to build a community of practitioners, researchers, and policymakers who are working to advance the field of impact-driven business by creating a platform for discussion and dialogue. This can be done by hosting conferences, workshops, and other events that bring together experts from different fields to share their knowledge and experience. Additionally, academic institutions can also serve as a resource for information and resources on B Corps, social enterprises, and other forms of impact-driven business.

Academia plays a vital role in advancing teaching and research on B Corps and social enterprises. Through education, research, collaboration, and community building, academic institutions can help to support the growth and development of these types of organizations, and to promote a more sustainable and just economy. As the awareness of the importance of impact-driven business increases, the role of academia in this field will become even more critical.

Article by Katherine Keango

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