Michigan’s Women-Led B Corps

March is B Corp Month and Women’s History Month!  

Certified B Corporations™ (B Corps™) are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. B Corps work toward a more socially and environmentally just economy by upholding three core standards: racial equity, climate justice and stakeholder-centered economies – centering people, planet and profit to create more positive change.  Becoming B Corp certified isn’t the end of the road – it’s just the beginning. Most B Corps keep improving their impact over time. Michigan is home to 30+ B Corp businesses helping to create a better, bolder, brighter business future! 

Did you know that B Corps are twice as likely to be led by a majority-female management team? And that there are nearly 1,800 women-owned B Corps across the world? Help us celebrate these powerhouses during Women’s History Month! But first, here’s a little trivia about how ladies get it done: 

  • Women control a whopping 70-80% of consumer purchasing decisions globally (Forbes) 
  • Women-owned small businesses are growing at double the rate of male-owned businesses (The Business Journals) 
  • Despite facing hurdles like unequal access to funding, women-owned businesses contribute over $1.9 trillion annually to the US economy alone (Entrepreneur 
  • Women-owned businesses generate substantial revenue, contributing billions to the economy annually. A report by American Express states that women-owned businesses in the U.S. generate over $1.8 trillion in revenue each year. (Score) 

We wanted to take the time to introduce a few of our impactful B Corp women led businesses that have been leading with passion towards creating a #PeopleFirstEconomy.  

Kristin Revere, the owner of Gold Coast Doulas, has been running her business for 8.5 years! Her entire staff is built up of incredible women who offer compassionate, professional support without judgment while upholding the highest standards of care. Kristin shared with us that, “Gold Coast has always focused on giving time and dollars to causes supporting low-income women and children. We started out as a Good for Michigan business until we were able to increase our score. We are proud to be the first B Corp in the world in the doula category.” As well as being a part of our #GoodForMichigan community, they are also #LocalFirst! Alongside their passion of promoting gender equality within their workspace & their clients, “we champion women every single day but love celebrating the pioneers in our industry during Women’s History Month. Gold Coast Doulas is committed to advancing the rights of women and girls through our work supporting mothers and their families.” This aligns with their desire to promote the sustainability development goal (SDG) #3, where they work hard to bring awareness on “the rising maternal mortality rates being a focus of this goal. As the SDG stated, many of the deaths were preventable.” Make sure you keep up with Gold Coast Doulas as they continue to be a leading #ForceForGood! 

Jessica Gutowski-Slaydon, the third-generation owner of Swift Printing which has been around since 1950, has been a trailblazer in the printing and communication world! Jes shared with us that she started her B Corp journey because, “Local First was sharing a lot about B Corps at the time, and upon looking into it, we realized that B Corp aligns with our beliefs. Having third-party accreditation confirms that we are not greenwashing.” As a #GoodForMichigan & #LocalFirst business, Jes has ensured that her business operates with integrity while keeping sustainability efforts at the front of their minds. Being a women owned business, Jes shared that she is, “super grateful for all the women and men who paved the way for women to have equal rights. Growing up in the time period I did, I always saw a woman doing something I wanted to do. My mom was a proud SAHM and was all about Girl Power. My friends’ mothers, some worked, some didn’t. I saw lots of diverse types of women growing up in all shapes and forms. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom too, and then I had my first job out of college and realized, ‘whoa, this is for me,’ and I knew I was going to be a working mom. For me, women’s history is a reminder of how I wish ALL humans felt like they could be themselves and that they are enough, just for being them. We are all so worthy. Whether you stay at home with your kids, don’t have kids, or work outside the home with kids. It doesn’t matter. You. Do. You. – It’s 2024.” Being authentically you while not being ashamed is how Jes encourages her team to flourish. From team bonding to how they interact at the office, they are futureproofing their workspace. Lastly, we asked Jes which SDG excites her the most: “all are great for us to keep working towards. One of my passions is our watersheds, so if I must pick one, it’s SDG 6: clean water.”

Sarah Laman-Davis, co-owner of Last Mile Cafe, started their cafe to change the narrative of coffee to be more sustainable, equitable and inclusive and to set an example for doing business better. Sarah stated that she wanted to be a certified B Corp because, “I never wanted to own a business if I couldn’t do it in a way that aligned with my values. B-Corp gave me a framework and accountability structure to do that.” Being a diversely owned cafe, Sarah acknowledged that creating an atmosphere where all are welcome is important to her. As a woman, Sarah shared that “Women’s History Month always makes me reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. While at one of my first jobs in college I worked for a man who told me to my face that he genuinely thought women were too emotionally unstable to run a business. What if this man was my banker, landlord, or advisor? People who think this way are still in positions of power and constantly are influencing our ability to thrive in the business world.” Existing in a patriarchal society is not easy for women. We constantly break glass ceilings to prove ourselves. Sarah is not afraid to stand up against the patriarchal agenda because it helps other women to seize their power by example. Alongside that, Sarah shared that the SDG #1 is, “Ending poverty in all its forms anywhere. This goal touches so many aspects of systemic change that I believe it to be the foundation of building healthy and sustainable communities across the globe.”   

So, next time you’re splurging on that must-have item, remember you’re not just shopping, you’re shaping economies! This Women’s HERstory Month, let’s raise a toast to the fearless females who’ve paved the way, shattered stereotypes, and continue to make HERSTORY every single day! 🎉 

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