Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have presented many different ways through which the Internet is providing access to learning opportunities for adults. These include several thematic portals and toolkits for coping with the socio-economic change caused by the long lockdown period and a longer imminent phase of gradual adaptation to new interpersonal dynamics, new studying/working practices and alternative social environments.
We are facing a real epochal transition, with yet undefined horizons and perspectives. This generates an increasing sense of anxiety and uncertainty that must be rapidly addressed with public and private interventions based on solidarity, equality and sustainability. In the light of this, besides the coordinated action of national public authorities, today, more than ever, the individual initiatives of citizens and forward-looking entrepreneurs can really make a difference. This is especially true if they are able to inspire and support those experiencing financial disruption and social exclusion.
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global cultural shift in order to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Society’s most pressing problems cannot be solved by government and non-profit organisations alone. The B Corp community works towards equality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more dignified, purposeful and high-quality jobs. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end; creating a positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
B Corps form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good. The values and aspirations of the B Corp community are embedded in the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence.
This valuable community has recently put together a resource hub for businesses across Europe that includes a list of where to find financial help, on a country by country basis. It also includes some great examples of B Corps from around Europe who have turned their attention to other things during the current crisis in order to use their businesses to do good. This is a great source of inspiration and much needed positive news!
Below are some examples of how EU B Corps are taking advantage of digital tools and networks to support their local communities:
- ELSK has developed its own 'help pack'. At ELSK, they felt they had to do something for their small dealers. When society shut down, the webshop became the customers' primary entrance. ELSK quickly decided to update the webshop with a tab where customers could donate 25% of their bill to a local retailer of their choice. It has been a huge success! (Full article available in Danish here)
- In an attempt to respond to the needs of families at home with children and young people, Edizioni Green Planner has implemented a new kids’ area with Podcasts available to download. (Podcasts available in Italian here)
- Smiile helps half a million people to share with one another and to help each other through digital neighbourhood networks, with advice on how to cope with COVID-19 and deal with the confinement imposed by the French government. (Full article available in French here)
- Startnext is a crowdfunding platform that has set up a campaign to help small businesses that are struggling as a result of the shutdown due to the Coronavirus crisis. (Platform available in German here)