As a company rooted in the value of connections, Big Path Capital was thrilled to be a part of the first in-person BLD Southeast event with fellow Certified B Corporations. The two-day B Leadership Development event in Raleigh, North Carolina included mainstage and networking sessions, workshops and speaker panels, and other opportunities to connect with fellow purpose-driven business leaders.

Big Path Capital first achieved B Corp Certification in 2008 as one of the first in the South to do so. The B Corp community has since grown to more than 7,400 companies globally that undergo a third-party assessment of their social and environmental impact. As companies committed to continual improvement, B Corps are assessed every few years to maintain their certification.

This commitment to impact improvement was evident at BLD Southeast, where leaders from B Corps throughout the Southeast U.S. shared best practices and other business learnings. Leaders attending from Big Path Capital included Co-Founder and Managing Partner Michael Whelchel and Chief Operating Officer Adrianne Gordon.

Photo by Chat with Leaders Media

As part of a panel on (B) Investing: From start-up to exit, Michael discussed how people can invest their money for good with mission-driven companies. His fellow speakers included Anastasia Simon, Investment Principal at Techstars Impact Powered by Cox; Talibah Bayles, Founder & CEO at TMB Tax & Financial Services; Avery Fontaine, Head of Philanthropy & Impact at PNC Private Bank; and Joey Barrick, Associate at SJF Ventures.

“In 2008, when we decided to seek certification, I had a feeling that we were part of a bigger movement,” Michael said. “It is exciting to see where the movement has come and be part of the community where I was raised.”

The importance of collaboration was the focus of another BLD Southeast session on Building the B Corp Movement that included Adrianne of Big Path Capital. She was joined on the panel by Scott Koloms, CEO & Founder, Canopy KY, and CEO, Facilities Management Services; Maria Kingery, Chief Impact Officer, Southern Energy Management, and Founder, 360Impact; Jamal Lewis, Economic Opportunity, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation; and Laura Huckabee-Jennings, CEO, Transcend, the Fearless Company.

“As changemakers, B Corps and others working to create a more just and equitable economy for all are building the bike as we ride it. There is no map for the work we are doing, and it’s critical that we share with and support one another to achieve our collective goals,” said Adrianne, who serves as both Chair of B Local Asheville and founded the B + EOS Network. “Being part of this movement stretches me as a leader, and the B Corp community is an essential support system for those of us working to leverage business as a force for good.”

Photo by Emily Minner

As a community of businesses focused on creating positive impact for people and the planet, B Corps also prioritize connections and partnerships with other purpose-driven businesses. These include B Local groups, which are place-based networks that help companies connect, collaborate, and engage with their communities. 

Big Path Capital is part of B Local Asheville & WNC, which nurtures the values-led business community and supports companies that are considering B Corp Certification. In her role with B Local Asheville & WNC and the regional B Corp community, Adrianne helped plan BLD Southeast. Through collaborative initiatives like BLD Southeast, B Locals, and B Networks, Big Path Capital and other B Corps gather to learn from each other, share best practices and lessons, and build momentum for business as a force for good.