The Better Business Bureau and BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) are conducting a pilot project that aims to develop a national database of social impact businesses. The BBB4Good Online Directory will enable U.S. and Canadian consumers to find social impact businesses in their communities and make informed purchasing decisions that will do the most good.

"BBB Institute is excited to work closely with local BBBs in the United States and Canada to identify and recognize businesses that are making a difference in their communities,” said BBB Institute Executive Director Melissa Trumpower. “Research shows there is an increase in the number of businesses that are addressing important social issues and at that same time providing jobs and quality products and/or services. We believe BBB can play an important role in recognizing these organizations and helping consumers find them.”

The pilot project builds off a six-month research project that was conducted by the BBB of Southern Colorado (BBBSC), the Colorado Institute for Social Impact (CI4SI) and the Quad Innovation Partnership and funded through the International Association of Better Business Bureaus (IABBB) and the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute), BBB’s educational foundation.

The pilot project will be conducted this summer in partnership with local BBBs serving communities in both the United States and Canada. Participating BBBs include BBB Northwest + Pacific, BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois, the BBB serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern Coastal California, the BBB serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming, the BBB serving Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Powell River, and Haida Gwaii, and the BBB serving Mainland British Columbia/Vancouver. Once the pilot project concludes, BBBs throughout North America will begin to collect data on social impact businesses.

The program is part of the BBB4Good initiative, BBB’s program to support and elevate social impact businesses. In partnership with our network of BBBs located in communities throughout North America, BBB4Good works to 1) empower consumers to identify social impact businesses in their communities by creating an easy-to-use online directory, 2) spotlight, recognize and support organizations that integrate social impact into their business plans, and 3) expand the growth of this powerful new marketplace sector via new research and partnerships with like-minded organizations that are providing critical support to social impact businesses. Additional information about the BBB4Good program is available at https://www.bbbmarketplacetrust.org/social-impact.

Photo: BBB representatives met in Colorado Springs in May to discuss the BBB4Good Online Directory. Left to right: Stacey Burns (BBBSC/CI4SI), Jonathan Liebert (BBBSC/CI4SI), Sam McMakin (IABBB), Sam Licavoli (IABBB) and Mel Trumpower (BBB Institute).