BCorp Twente: Looking beyond growth in turnover and the number of employees

Translation agency Perfect is the second BCorp certified company in Twente

Sam van Gentevoort, the owner of translation agency Perfect, opens the conversation: “I started doing business out of a sense of freedom and success. At a certain point, I realised that I wanted to look beyond the traditional growth in turnover and the number of employees”. Besides Socialforce, translation agency Perfect is the second organisation in Twente to be BCorp certified. Mark de Lat, a partner at Eshuis Accountants and Advisors, had a conversation with Sam on behalf of the BCorpTwente initiative. 

In short

Business models of companies can be used more and more to create social impact. 
That is why BCorp Twente was founded. A quality label for entrepreneurs who, in addition to profit, also take people, the environment and society as a starting point, and therefore have a meaningful business. 
Sam van Gentevoort, the owner of translation agency Perfect, did thorough research into meaningful entrepreneurship. He wants to be part of the solution instead of the problem

Global Goal

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When Sam is asked why he started with BCorp, he responds as follows: “It was not just one Eureka moment. Several insights came together. I was inspired to delve more deeply into meaningful entrepreneurship in early 2016, after some meetings by the Meaningful Economy in Twente. The corona period was also a time where I could reflect on entrepreneurship.”

Being part of the solution

“I already knew that I wanted to be a pioneer when I was a student. This drive led to the establishment of the translation agency Perfect. It also made me want to give more meaning to entrepreneurship. By starting with self-management and introducing collective profit-sharing, for example, and by now being one of the first organisations in the Netherlands to be BCorp certified. I realised that companies cause the current (climate) problems in several cases, and I want to be part of the solution instead of the problem”, says Sam. 

Business as a force for good

“Wanting to be part of the solution made me look into the international BCorp standard because BCorp aims to create a global movement of entrepreneurs who want to contribute to a better world with their business models. Or, as they put it: Business as a force for good.”

“As a translation agency whose mission is to make a positive contribution to globalisation, this appeals to us. Becoming part of this movement proved to demand a lot from us as an organisation”, says Sam van Gentevoort. “Even though striving for social and societal values seemed logical to us, becoming certified still took a lot of work. The biggest challenge turned out to be BCorp systematic approach. An approach that requires you to substantiate your goals, for example, wanting to reduce CO2 emissions. You don’t get away with simply saying that you want to do this. You have to substantiate it with facts and figures.”

What started as an idea from Sam

“It was a confirmation that the course we had already set is in line with the BCorp standard. We spend 20% of our annual profit on profit sharing and sustainability, for example. We invest in local charities and tree planting with this, among other things. How we already gave substance to our terms of employment, our vision of diversity and the way we deal with our employees also fit in seamlessly with the BCorp standard”, says Sam van Gentevoort. He also describes his experiences. “It started as ‘one of Sam’s ideas’, but it is now an integral part of our company philosophy, where earning money and doing good go hand in hand. Some colleagues first thought it would only cost money, but they now see the added value. This has required me, as the owner, to ensure a good balance between taking charge and giving direction. To be innovative and to adapt to the wishes and needs of my colleagues. The trick is to be ahead of the game by ‘just enough’ to keep moving.”

Ask yourself what a more beautiful world would look like in 10 years?

Lastly, Sam has a piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs: “Just start the BCorp trajectory, I the philosophy behind it appeals to you. New insights are bound to emerge. And ask yourself this: ‘What would a more beautiful world look like in 10 years, and how can I contribute to it?’”

About Bcorp

BCorp is a quality label for entrepreneurs that assesses corporate social responsibility. There are over 2,750 “Benefit Corporations” worldwide, located in over 50 countries and spread over more than 130 industries. Saxion Conscious Business Lab and Eshuis Accountants and Advisors focus on supporting entrepreneurs in Twente that want to give more meaning to their business in a circular way, focusing on people and society. These entrepreneurs started BCorp Twente.

Date: 8 June 2021 |

Source of tekst: Bcorp |