RFP #2 was released in December 2014 and proposals were accepted until January 30, 2015. In addition to data on companies that have become B Corporations or completed the B Impact Assessment, this RFP contains data from the Global Impact Investing Rating System’s (GIIRS) surveys of global impact investing funds and their portfolio companies, located in over 30 countries. From this RFP, four research teams were selected. Information on their research agenda is given below:
Laura Claus, Paul Tracey, and Lionel Paolella, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
We aim to use the B Lab dataset to explore how B Corps as a new organizational form emerged and continue to diffuse. Specifically, we are interested in the underlying conditions that drive the B Corp movement to spread, including patterns in geographical clustering as well as factors such as legal, cultural, and industry frameworks.
Matthew Grimes and Joel Gehman, University of Alberta
Becoming a Certified B Corporation takes time, effort and money. But once certified, B Corps vary in their promotion of the certification and in the extent to which they promote their specific environmental, social, and governance qualifications. Our research studies the factors that influence these differences, or what we call “category promotion.”
Agus Harjoto, Pepperdine University, Indrarini Laksmana, Kent State University, and Ya-wen Yang, Wake Forest University
Our first study aims to examine the financial performance and corporate social performance of B-certified firms and B Lab social, environmental, and governance (ESG) criteria with those publicly traded, non B- certified companies operating in the same industry. Our second study plans to explore the product (industry) and geographic clustering of the B-certified, the B Impact Assessment Completers, and the rest of the firms that are still in the process of obtaining the B-Corporation certification. The third study will examine the financial performance, social impact, and portfolio allocation of Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) rated funds.
Saurabh Lall and Genevieve Edens, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
Over the past three years, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) has been collecting data on investment vehicles focused on small and growing businesses (SGBs) in developing countries and emerging markets. ANDE will leverage data from B Lab to examine how GIIRS rated funds differ from non-GIIRS rated funds, in terms of deal size, stage of investment, region, and sector focus to inform a range of key stakeholders including impact investors, foundations, development finance institutions, and academic institutions.