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MIF supports certification of Empresas B, businesses that prioritize positive social and environmental impact, in Latin America and the Caribbean

Aug 21, 2014

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has approved a technical cooperation grant of US$1,150,000 to support the development of social businesses—businesses that seek to achieve positive social and environmental benefits in addition to financial returns—in Latin America and the Caribbean. Sistema B, a Chilean-based nonprofit organization that certifies social businesses in the region as “Empresas B,” is partnering with the MIF to execute the project.

The Sistema B certification program is based on that of B Lab, a nonprofit organization in the United States that has certified more than 1,000 Benefit Corporations (or B Corporations) from more than 30 countries. Certified B Corporations must comply with strict standards for transparency, accountability, and corporate purpose that differentiate them from traditional companies with an exclusive focus on shareholder profit. B Corporation certification has been adopted by several US States regulator that have seen in this methodology an effective way of bringing positive impact to their communities through private sector. 

Sistema B, established in 2012, has to date certified 85 companies in South America as Empresas B, and is in the process of evaluating nearly 200 more companies. With support from the MIF, Sistema B expects to be able to certify an additional 500 social businesses throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region. In addition to certification, Sistema B also provides technical assistance and training programs that help Empresas B deepen their commitment to and improve their performance in achieving social and environmental impact. 

The project will also promote the development of the emerging social business ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean on several fronts, including public awareness campaigns on the benefits of including Empresas B in corporate supply chains; an online marketplace that will help large corporations connect with Empresa B suppliers and partners; analysis of legal frameworks that facilitate the certification of social businesses; knowledge products that allow for widespread dissemination of information about establishing and growing Empresas B; and “Communities of Practice” that foster networking and exchanges between the region’s Empresas B.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefiting low-income populations and the poor—their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory—experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks to build and support successful micro, small, and medium business models. More information can be found at

About Sistema B

Sistema B is a private sector foundation established in 2012, which has built an emerging community of certified Empresas B in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Brazil, by developing a supporting ecosystem and generating awareness. To date, Sistema B has certified 85 companies in the four countries as Empresas B. Learn more at

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