Business Growth Strategies is the 79th company in Australia and New Zealand to gain B Corporation status

CAFE SCENE: Ellyn Martin and Rod Fraser, who work from Deli Bean Cafe in Wodonga when they're in town, embrace the idea of a values-driven and purpose-driven business hub on the Border. Pictures: ELENOR TEDENBORG

CAFE SCENE: Ellyn Martin and Rod Fraser, who work from Deli Bean Cafe in Wodonga when they're in town, embrace the idea of a values-driven and purpose-driven business hub on the Border. Pictures: ELENOR TEDENBORG

It’s 7.30am when Ellyn Martin and Rod Fraser arrive at their office-free workplace.

GROUP WORK: Rod Fraser and Ellyn Martin want to make a difference, saying Border businesses suited to certification already have environmental and social charters.

GROUP WORK: Rod Fraser and Ellyn Martin want to make a difference, saying Border businesses suited to certification already have environmental and social charters.

The owners of Wodonga firm Business Growth Strategies operate out of Deli Bean Cafe on Beechworth Road on weekdays when they’re not out of town.

This fresh approach is typical of how the couple go about their business.

They work with business owners and CEOs to develop plans to help for-profit and not-for profit clients to scale up. It aligns with the Wodonga Chamber of Commerce to foster a world-class business community.

They also do pro bono work, offering free seminars to Border businesses.

Established in 2012, Business Growth Strategies is the first Certified B Corporation on the Border.

The certification is granted to companies that use business to solve social and environmental problems and meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. The Wodonga company is the 79th in Australia and New Zealand to gain the certification.

“B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk,” explains Mr Fraser.

“For us being a B Corp is an internationally recognised measure of being a conscious business.”

Mr Fraser says purpose-driven and values-driven businesses benefit communities on any scale.

“In essence we believe that business has a higher social purpose beyond simply profit,” he says.

“You may have heard us say it is about purpose and people and profit … and planet. It is a foundation of building a great business, and small can be great too.

“Our mission is to grow conscious businesses that grow our community; businesses with vision and heart that want to make a difference, doing something they love.”

To become a Certified B Corporation, Business Growth Strategies underwent a rigorous evaluation by B Lab, the non-profit organisation that certifies and supports B Corporations, which determined its services met the comprehensive performance standards to qualify for certification.

Ms Martin likes being part of an international community of businesses committed to conscientious and sustainable growth.

“Being a Certified B Corporation means we commit to monitoring and improving on our social and environmental impact; we have operational and performance goals to achieve as our business grows,” she says.

“One of the benefits of being a B Corporation is access to this wonderful international tribe.”

Business Growth Strategies joins the ranks of other social and environmental business leaders in the global marketplace, which includes more than 1460 Certified B Corporations from 130 industries.

KeepCup, which made the world’s first barista standard reusable cup in 2009, is among them.

You can bet Ellyn and Rod’s cups get a workout too.

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