The Chilean benefits startup Betterfly has just become the first social enterprise to reach unicorn status (i.e. to obtain a valuation of over US$1 billion). This milestone, in addition to reinforcing the current buoyant status of Chile’s business environment, puts the spotlight on companies with a social purpose – an ever-growing category in our country.
Betterfly, a revolutionary employee wellness benefits application that rewards healthy habits with charitable donations, this week became the first Latin American certified B Corporation to be valued at more than US$1 billion and become a unicorn.
Chilean innovation with a social purpose is gaining a prominent presence in the world, as is the case with Betterfly. Its founder and CEO, Eduardo della Maggiora, developed a pioneering benefits model with a new way of bringing financial protection and empowering people to help others and take care of their own mental, physical, and financial wellbeing.
Betterfly puts social impact and purpose at the core of its approach. Since its beginnings, it made the decision to become a certified B Corporation and a Public Benefit Corporation in the United States, with a legal mission and business model featuring a “triple bottom line” — People, Planet, and Profit — extending benefits to shareholders, communities, and employees alike.
However, it is not the only such case. According to Sistema B, Chile has more than 200 B Corps today, ranking it second after Brazil as the country with the most B Corps in Latin America. Chile is also the country with the world’s highest per-capita number of B Corps, and it was the country of origin of the first company to be certified as a B corporation in Latin America, TriCiclos, which was co-founded by Gonzalo Muñoz.
Social entrepreneurship is a distinguishing feature and very much in line with the attribute that most defines the people of Chile, according to Imagen Chile’s national pride study: solidarity.
All B Corporations measure their social and environmental impact and make a personal, institutional and legal commitment to decision-making that considers the long-term consequences of their actions on the community and the environment. The companies take responsibility and pride in belonging to this global movement of companies that want to bring about change, using market forces to provide solutions to social and environmental problems. Creating future.
B Corporations have 4 key elements. Purpose: they are motivated to create a positive impact on society and the environment. Legal requirement: they extend the fiduciary duty of shareholders and managers to include non-financial interests. Certification: they are evaluated and make a commitment to improving their management and transparency standards. Interdependence: they are part of a community through a declaration of interdependence.
According to Sistema B figures, the industries with the highest representation of certified B Corporations in Chile are professional and technical services (21%), retail (12%) and manufacturing (11%). Their tend to be located in the Metropolitan Region (75%), followed far behind by the Los Lagos Region (10%) and the rest of the country. In terms of the number of employees, most Chilean B Corps have between 1 and 49 employees (73% of the companies).
In 2021, a total of 28 Chilean companies were recognized in “Best for the world,” an award granted by the US-based NGO B Lab Global and the network of B Lab and Sistema B organizations to a total of 800 companies around the world. The Chilean companies recognized were: Regional Food, Finmas, Socialab, Inversiones Focus, TriCiclos, Estudios y Consultorías Focus, Degraf, Cultiva Empresa, eClass, Aguas Santa Amalia, GeCo, Target DDI, Mujeres del Pacífico, STC Sunbelt, Proyecta, Funeraria Hogar de Cristo, Próxima, Dictuc, Nodo Chile, Rising Sun Chile, Iconosur, Ciudad Luz, Agrícola Sauco, Greenspot, Armony, Balloon Latam, Betterfly and CajaVecina.
From glacier conservation to robots that assess your mental health: Chilean companies are finding solutions to global problems