During the fall of 2020, I worked closely with a team of UNH undergraduate students as part of the B Impact Clinic. UNH is one of the few colleges in the country that offers this clinic.
For the ninth episode of the BSuite, I gather my UNH student advisors, Colleen Spear, Lilly Bennett, Jamie McGee, and Emma Porter to look back on their collective effort to help Richardson Media Group navigate towards its B Corp certification. During our conversation we also include Brenda Brooks, RMG’s marketing operations manager, to share feedback on what this work has meant to her.
The students and I reflect on why more companies should consider becoming B Corporations, how this experience has helped prepare them for entering the workforce post-college, and what it means to prioritize sustainability and social responsibility in a small company like ours.
I hope you enjoy this meaningful conversation as much as I did. Thank you for tuning in!
A hands-on program like the UNH B Impact Clinic benefits both the students and the companies they’re advising.
UNH is one of the few colleges in the country that offers the B Impact Clinic, designed to support mission-driven companies looking to attain their coveted B Corporation status.
The program is highly interactive and hands-on, pairing a student team with a for-profit company. Over the course of a single semester, the students guide their partner organization through the B Impact Assessment, helping them earn the required number of points (80 points is the minimum to be considered a B Corp). At the end, everyone celebrates together and shares their progress in a virtual showcase.
My students recall how much they enjoyed the collaborative learning environment, problem-solving along with me, and gaining real-world knowledge about running a small busines. UNH senior, Colleen Spear, our team leader, is in her third year at the B Impact Clinic, demonstrating the quality of the program and the diversity it has brought to her time at UNH.
Building upon employee benefits builds longevity, gratitude, and commitment.
A huge outcome of the work the students and I did together in the B Impact Clinic was to create a Corporate Responsibility Guide. This detailed document, along with an updated version of our Employee Handbook quickly became necessary catchalls for the growing list of employee benefits and company policies I chose to add.
I checked in frequently with my one full-time employee, Brenda Brooks, to get her perspective on the changes I was making. She was a valuable resource giving me feedback from the employee side. Brenda admitted later on that my decision to add a retirement benefit and incorporate a 3% company match, gave her a feeling of security and a deeper desire to stay with Richardson Media Group long-term. Her response reinforced my decision to add these benefits knowing I was creating a stronger company culture in return.
Blind recruiting processes can increase diversity on a team.
We recently advertised for a part-time marketing coordinator to join the Richardson Media Group team, and a simple tweak we implemented to our process was experimenting with blind recruiting, where you strip away the identifiable characteristics of the individual who is applying.
Lilly was inspired to try this in her role as sorority recruiter, and she found that she chose completely different candidates than she perhaps would have if she went solely based on name or gender alone.
It goes to show how many hidden biases there are in these types of situations and the power we have to make positive changes for the better.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK THE UNH TEAM
- What was one of the most meaningful policies we ended up adding to our Corporate Responsibility Guide?
- The Environmental section of the B Impact Assessment was a difficult area to earn points. Why do you think we faced more challenges there?
- What contributions do the B Impact Assessment make to our world today?
“Sustainability is non-negotiable. It’s part of being a business and part of participating in society.”