June 27, 2023

Mayer Brown helps minority women entrepreneurs achieve ESG certification through B Lab partnership

Mayer Brown has partnered with B Lab US & Canada on its “Level” program, which was created to promote inclusion and support of businesses facing “systemic challenges to economic empowerment.” B Lab US & Canada is the nonprofit organization that certifies businesses as B Corps based on its “B Impact Assessment” of businesses’ social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.

Corporate partners Paul de Bernier and Stephanie Hurst, who regularly advise on public benefit corporation, B Lab US & Canada and other ESG matters, will lead the Mayer Brown team that will provide pro bono legal support to the small businesses led by Black, Indigenous or People of Color who also identify as women. The firm’s lawyers will assist companies with completing relevant portions of the B Impact Assessment, including assisting with converting to the public benefit corporation entity form and amending governing documents to reflect such conversion and related stakeholder language.

“We are excited to partner with B Lab US & Canada through its Level program and help equalize opportunities for BIPOC women-owned small businesses,” said Stephanie, who collaborated with B Lab US & Canada previously on the Board Playbook. “Our goal is to help these small businesses and entrepreneurs navigate the rigorous process and achieve B Corp certification—optimizing their potential to create societal impact and long-term transformation.”

Mayer Brown is providing pro bono services to Level program participants in conjunction with its racial justice initiative, Project Equity, which the firm launched three years ago in recognition of the important role that law firms and lawyers have to play in addressing systemic racism and promoting racial equity in the law.

“Our involvement with B Lab US & Canada’s Level program aligns with the values of our firm’s Project Equity initiative, which was designed to broaden our community engagement on issues of racial and social justice and help to bring about meaningful change,” said Paul. “Every company should have a level playing field when it comes to achieving B Corp certification, which can be viewed as a business imperative.”

“We are thankful for Mayer Brown’s Level program partnership and support – our mission to create a more equitable economy is closely tied to the prosperity of these women entrepreneurs,” said Alesha Hartley, Certification Program Manager at B Lab US & Canada.


Related Services & Industries

Stay Up To Date With Our Insights

See how we use a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to meet our clients' needs.