According to the American Heart Association, about 30% of Americans can administer CPR. In China, that number is closer to 1%. This was the inspiration point for China's first certified B Corp, First Respond.
As part of the Social Enterprise Boom series, John's Little Green Book connected with Min Ko, Head of International Affairs for First Respond. Her LinkedIn Pulse piece sums up nicely the types of problems her certified B Corp is trying to solve.
In a nutshell:
To address these issues First Respond provides large-scale training on CPR and emergency response, certified by the American Heart Association. They also serve as emergency services for China's booming marathon, short distance, and extreme race scene. Lastly, First Respond is working with corporations to imbue a culture of care into a Chinese society that has, unfortunately, become more individualist than socialist. As of June 2016, First Respond has served "...140 race events in 22 different cities nationwide, covered approximately 600,000 runners and saved ten lives from sudden cardiac arrest with a 100 percent success rate..trained more than 30,000 people and worked with more than 100 corporate clients."
If things are going so well, why go through the effort to become China's first certified B Corp? The first reason is obviously as a way to differentiate in an increasingly competitive marketplace. B Corp certification also provides a metric for monitoring, evaluation, and growth. What was most inspirational, according to Ko, was a desire to spread the word of B Corp certification to other social enterprises in China. Ko, and First Respond, are very much of the view that becoming a certified B Corp is a surefire way to give credibility and put a fire under the Chinese social good scene. By way of example, during the application process B Corp asks applicants to certify their practices align with government regulation. Since China has no social enterprise laws on the books, First Respond has to sit through a modified interview process. The hope is that with more certification will come new national legislation.
First Respond is working with B Corp to open up the mainland's first representative office. They are also at the beginning stages of a promotional campaign to make sure a year from now they are no longer China's only certified B Corp!
What do you think? Is B Corp certification the way to go for really impacting social good or are there more fundamental issues to address first for China?