Why did Agora decide to partner with B Analytics?
We support to the movement for standardizing impact measurement in the impact investing community. Partnering with B Lab was a clear signal to our constituents that we share the same vision and are committed to moving the impact investing ecosystem forward.
Integrating B Analytics into our process helped us develop more rigor around impact measurement. Agora tracks seven key metrics for all companies over time, and works individually with companies to select two to three additional metrics tailored to their business needs. We are building a longitudinal data set of their alumni companies with the hopes of measuring the real impact the accelerator achieves in Latin America. B Analytics is facilitating this process.
How did your entrepreneurs use the assessment?
We require all companies participating in our Entrepreneur Retreat to take the B Impact Assessment, and then we use the resulting data as part of the hands-on, intensive consulting that we provide. Over the course of a subsequent four-month consultancy, Agora’s entrepreneurs are introduced to concrete mechanisms for translating thought into action. We supplement our tailored consulting with the curriculum of best practice guides that B Lab developed for emerging market companies.
Because the companies participating in the Impact Accelerator span the spectrum from seed to high growth stage, they were able to use their impact assessments in multiple ways. For companies still working on their business model, learning about the key metrics that impact investors often care about and tracking them early on was essential to business development. For later stage companies, taking a hard look at company policies – from worker practices to criteria for selecting suppliers – was key.
How did your investors use the data from B Analytics?
In 2013, Agora integrated B Analytics reporting into our annual investor conference. B Lab created customized impact reports with sector and market-specific benchmarks for all the accelerator companies pitching to our investor audience. The investors used the reports for screening companies against their own impact criteria and as a means of making their impact diligence process more efficient. As of this July 2013, many companies are in the process of signing term sheets with Agora’s investor network (see sidebar on Maya Mountain Cacao, right).
The Custom B Analytics Report created for the overall Agora 2013 Accelerator Program is available here.
Integrating B Analytics into our process helped us develop more rigor around impact measurement.Becky Bailey
Maya Mountain Cacao Ltd.
Maya Mountain Cacao sources high-quality, sustainably-grown cocoa beans from indigenous Maya farmers in heavily impoverished Southern Belize. Maya Mountain Cacao’s cofounder Emily Stone believes that “what gets measured gets managed" and found the B Impact Assessment to be a rigorous tool to help manage the company’s impact performance.
She took the assessment together with her full team in Belize. Taking the assessment together helped facilitate a team discussion about their impact and vision.
The company, which published its first impact report in 2011 and just released its 2013 report (which included information about its GIIRS Rating), is dedicated to finding mission-aligned investors. The Agora investor conference, Impact Investing in Action, provided an ideal opportunity to showcase their impact. Maya Mountain connected with the Eleos Foundation, and closed a funding round with them in July 2013. Maya Mountain was asked to share their GIIRS ratings report as part of the due diligence package they put together for prospective investors.
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