Last week, we received the approval from the New Mexico Secretary of State on our new articles of incorporation as a Benefit Corporation! Many states have enabled this option, and in the legislative session at the beginning of the year, it was approved to have this option in New Mexico. A special thanks to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for signing this legislation.
What is a Benefit Corporation?
A Benefit Corporation is a legal entity that provides a long-term structure of governance to balance profit and purpose. Benefit Corporations focus on stakeholders, which includes employees, customers, shareholders, partners, and community members.
Take note of three essential responsibilities of a Benefit Corporation:
- Purpose: Benefit corporations commit to creating public benefit and sustainable value in addition to generating profit. This sustainability is an integral part of their value proposition.
- Accountability: Benefit corporations are committed to considering the company’s impact on society and the environment in order to create long-term sustainable value for all stakeholders.
- Transparency: Benefit corporations are required to report, in most states annually and using a third party standard, showing their progress towards achieving social and environmental impact to their shareholders and in most cases the wider public.
While press releases are traditional in nature, we wrote one. Below is the text of our announcement. Three key points:
- We have a growing community of Benefit Corporations and Certified B Corps in New Mexico. We are grateful for the examples set by companies like Taos Ski Valley, Falling Colors, Meow Wolf, B.Public, Positive Solar Energy, Electric Playhouse, and many others.
- Glenn Schiffbauer, executive director of the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, has been leading the charge to pass Benefit Corporation legislation, and we are grateful for his diligence and passion.
- The University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management started a NM for Good initiative, and we are looking forward to their continuing impact to support more businesses and startups to combine profit and purpose.
Here is our formal release.
Santa Fe Innovates – First Benefit Corporation Incorporated in New Mexico
Legislation passed and signed earlier this year to open this option for New Mexico Businesses
Santa Fe, New Mexico – Santa Fe Innovates, a business accelerator for social entrepreneurs, is the first Benefit Corporation incorporated in New Mexico. Benefit Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
“We are energized by the new legislation to give companies an option to incorporate as a Benefit Corporation,” said Jon Mertz, founder of Santa Fe Innovates. “We started as a C-Corp, but we have a larger purpose than just to be profitable. Santa Fe Innovates has a mission to develop economic diversity through social entrepreneurship. We are glad the option exists now in New Mexico to organize in a way to embed our purpose within the governance structure of our company.”
Each year, Santa Fe Innovates will now file an annual report on how well the business is doing in pursuing its purpose.
“Last year, we started the New Mexico for Good program to promote education and research for positive change and to serve as a convenerfor change-makers in our state,” said Wellington Spetic, Ph.D., Anderson School of Management, University of New Mexico. “We know the number of certified B Corps have increased, and now we are seeing the beginnings of companies incorporating as a Benefit Corporation. It is great to see Santa Fe Innovates leading by example. We hope to continue the conversation of a better way to start and grow a business in New Mexico.”
Benefit Corporations are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good. By harnessing the power of business, Benefit Corporations use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
“Congratulations to Santa Fe Innovates on becoming the first Benefit Corporation incorporated in New Mexico, using the new option approved by the legislature and signed by the Governor,” said Glenn Schiffbauer, executive director of the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce. “We want to see more businesses – startups, small businesses, or larger corporations – choose to mix profit with purpose and sustainability with financial growth.”
“The Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce has been championing Benefit Corporations in New Mexico for a long time. Balancing profit with sustainability and other community purposes is a better way to do business, and it is what the next generation of employees and leaders expect. We want to see more companies become Benefit Corporations to position New Mexico as a place where a better form of capitalism thrives.”
New Mexico joins 36 states and the District of Columbia that have passed Benefit Corporation legislation. Benefit Corporation legislation has enjoyed an almost 90% approval rating on all votes from legislators in both parties.
About Santa Fe Innovates
Santa Fe Innovates is a for-profit organization focused on diversifying the Santa Fe economy through the development and growth of New Mexican social enterprise startup businesses. Our focus is on technology and other scalable solutions that have the potential to be job-creating ventures. We are building a collaborative community to enable and guide the next generation of social entrepreneurs and startups in New Mexico.
Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce
Santa Fe’s Green Chamber of Commerce works to build a sustainable community of local businesses that are environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially responsible through action, advocacy, and education. Advocating for green public policy and issues that support sustainable business is a year-round part of what we do. Our Chamber is involved at the city, county, and state levels promoting legislation that benefits our community and our membership. We actively lobby for community solar power, clean energy, and energy efficiency, as well as issues that promote green jobs and a better business climate in Santa Fe.
The New Mexico for Good Program
The New Mexico for Good program is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on education, research, and responsible economic development. It is designed to harness existing efforts and encourage new responsible business enterprises in collaboration with businesses – including B Corps and other businesses that have or are interested in institutionalizing responsible business practices – nonprofits, local and state government, and other academic institutions. The program is being developed on two fronts: initiatives that promote research and education for positive change and initiatives that serve as conveners for positive change.