A Week of Social Impact for Business

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Media Outlet: Stanford Social Innovation Review

Helping make that case are the growing number of companies that view sustainability as central to their long-term profitability. On Wednesday, the Brooklyn-based, on-line marketplace and certified B Corp Etsy filed for an initial public offering, and shone a bright and precedent-setting light on the fusion of values and value. Securities and Exchange Commission filings are not typically page-turners, but Etsy’s is worth a read, as it declared to the world and potential investors: “We believe that business interests and social and environmental responsibility are interwoven and aligned, and that the power of business should be used to strengthen communities and empower people.” Etsy matters for many reasons, among them is that it’s only the second of 1,200 B Corps to go public (the first was Rally software), testing its commitment to a broad set of stakeholders—including employees, the community, and the environment—in the public markets.  

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Georgia Levenson Keohane is the Executive Director of the Pershing Square Foundation and author of Capital and the Common Good: How Innovative Finance is Tackling the World's Most Urgent Problems.