B Lab East Africa
B Lab is a leader of economic systems change in Africa. Challenging the status quo and encouraging an economy that benefits all people, communities, and the planet. Their network creates standards and tools for business, advocates for policy change and certifies companies - known as B corps - who are leading the way.
Africa faces a myriad of socio-economic challenges which are exacerbated by an economic system that seeks to maximize profits often at the expense of all stakeholders. All of these are a result of the inadequate mechanisms to make businesses accountable for their contribution to the challenges the continent faces.
The result of this is that we have disempowered communities, a disengaged workforce, substandard products and a degraded planet.
There is a dire need to redefine business success as they control significant resources and have huge potential to positively impact people, communities and the planet.
B Lab East & Southern Africa has been working with businesses to create systems that lead to better run and more resilient businesses. This has become mission-critical, especially with local and global disruptions such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Great resignation and the Global supply crunch.
B Lab worked with Krowd Works to rework its strategy and execution on onboarding businesses to actively engage on the SDG Action Manager and in March 2021 the SDG Impact Challenge was launched. The Challenge focused on helping businesses assess and benchmark their existing systems for long term resilience and highlighting the gaps that needed improvement. This was a 30-day campaign across countries in East & Southern Africa in partnership with UN Global Compact.
The SDG Impact Challenge was primarily driven via social media and also involved directly connecting to SME support organisations.
Whereas the campaign targeted to engage 100 businesses within the 30-day window the final numbers came in at 178. With this turnout it became clear that the notion that SDGs are a development/ aid agency focus is rapidly fading with the Covid-19 pandemic clearly demonstrating the need for them to be on every boardroom agenda.
As an incentive to the participants, a $2,000 prize was awarded to the finalist who was Mtindo design for their work on SDG 5 on Gender Equality. The prize enabled Mtindo Design to expand its financial training and solutions to women in Uganda.