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Doing Good While Doing Well: Etsy Gains B Corp Status

In the ultimate “Doing good while doing well” move, DUMBO based Etsy has announced that they have become a Certified B Corporation. B Corporations use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. It is similar to buildings getting a LEED certification, but for businesses.

B Lab provides a rigorous independent third-party framework for assessing how you’re doing as a business when it comes to employee, community, and environmental interests. There are over 500 certified B Corps but Etsy will be among the biggest, along with mission-driven companies like Patagonia and Seventh Generation.

Chad Dickerson, CEO at Etsy talked about why Etsy went the B Corporation route: “We wanted to hold ourselves to a higher standard than most companies and articulate the guiding principles for Etsy that would be an anchor as we grow and change. There is no doubt that Etsy has been a successful business, but we don’t want to be just that. We want the company to last for a very long time and clearly stand for something in the world.”

The organization behind B Corporations is B Lab, a non-profit, that describes the B Corporation movement like this: “When you support a B Corporation, you’re supporting a better way to do business. Governments and nonprofits are necessary but insufficient to solve today’s most pressing problems. Business is the most powerful force on the planet and can be a positive instrument for change.”

In addition to the big news of becoming a certified B Corporation, Etsy also announced that they have raised $40 million from investors including Union Square Ventures and Accel Partners among others. This funding will help Etsy expand internationally. Dickerson’s plan is to hire community managers and open offices in countries where Etsy thinks it can gain a viable footprint. He has his eye on Australia and Canada, among other markets.

“There’s a huge opportunity for Etsy to grow the opportunities for sellers,” declared Dickerson.

Photo via Etsy Labs.