How great is this article title “Etsy’s IPO id a Direct Challenge to Wall Street’s Beliefs” ?
Etsy is a Certified B Corporation that recently filed for an IPO. As a Certified B Corporation they value and incorporate into their mission “doing good” for the environment, community, and employees. But as a Public Company they will have to “maximize shareholder value.”
Within the article it was noted that Etsy could balance both by not only being a Certified B Corporation, but also become a Benefit Corporation. A Benefit Corporation differs from a Certified B Corporation, in which a Benefit Corporation incorporates the socially conscious framework into the company’s legal DNA. This will be relevant for Etsy as they try to balance their social mission and public business.
Delware’s governor introduced a legislation “to create a legal structure to let companies take into account the community, their employees, education, or the environment in addition to the interests of shareholders.” Under this structure, directors of a public benefit corporation may still keep a social mission at its core while balancing profit for shareholders. I hope this legislation passes and Etsy continues to stay true to it’s mission even as they file to go public.
This personally interests me because as a Technology Risk Consultant I worked for public companies on their Sarbanes- Oxley (SOX) compliance. This meant testing various IT processes to ensure that Management’s Internal IT controls were in place and operating effectively. If the company passed they were SOX compliant and would not have to report any mis- statements.
My experience in IT SOX and my passion for Certified B Corporations (and any corporation with a social mission) has put into perspective what this will mean for Etsy and the whole country as public benefit corporations hopefully become more abundant. Balancing compliance as a public company and as a “social good” company will be a treat for Etsy, to say the least. I hope and crossing my fingers Etsy stays true to it’s core and mission. How they manage both will be a game changer for both sides, and show that business can be profitable and also contribute to a greater good.