Peter Holbrook: why KickStarter has become a public benefit corporation

Plus: meeting Christian Felber and hosting the Compact Awards

Peter Holbrook
Peter Holbrook

The US crowdfunding platform KickStarter has opted to become a public benefit corporation, obliged to put social impact ahead of quick riches.

Its chief executive, Yancey Strickler, said: "Every giant corporation started as a small company, but at some point they lost their soul. I think there are other entrepreneurs and people like us that want to do something more than just survive or get rich. They shouldn't be forced to put aside their strong beliefs just to get that cheque."

I enjoyed meeting Christian Felber on his recent visit to the UK. As author of Change Everything: Creating an Economy for the Common Good, he has pioneered a matrix to evaluate the impact an organisation has on society. Whereas B Corporation certification encourages corporate behaviour change, Felber's assessment is more about creating systemic change.

I had the pleasure of hosting the 2015 Compact Awards. Quote of the night was from Nadine Smith, one of the winners: "I've gone from being a repeat offender at the age of 13 to shaping national police policy at the age of 19." Smith is a member of the Sussex Youth Commission, which was set up by the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, and won the award for community engagement.

Despite losing a Buy Social Bake Off with Brigade restaurant founder Simon Boyle, I was pleased to take part in this event. Brigade has supported more than 100 homeless people through apprenticeships, helping to place them in jobs in London's top hotels and restaurants.

Peter Holbrook is chief executive of Social Enterprise UK

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