Increasing numbers of businesses, including peer-to-peer lending platforms, are getting their ethical credentials measured and verified by achieving B Corp status.
This is a certification programme which demonstrates that a business has good environmental, social and governance fundamentals and promotes transparency.
There are plenty of ways a P2P lending platform can claim to be ethical, such as through the loans and projects they offer or day-to-day activities including recycling, diversity in the workplace or their energy usage.
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To achieve B Corp status, firms must demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving an assessment score of 80 or above and pass a risk review.
Businesses must make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders not just shareholders.
They must also demonstrate transparency by allowing information about their performance to be measured against B Lab’s standards and be publicly available on their B Corp profile.
Of 5,000 businesses with B Corp status worldwide, only 14 are from the P2P lending or crowdfunding sector.
However, this number may be set to grow. For example, P2P consumer lender Plend has said its B Corp status is pending.
Here are the P2P lenders and crowdfunding platforms that have already achieved B Corp status.
Each is given its an impact score by B Corp based on its governance and work with staff, community, the environment and customers.
The median for B Corp businesses is 50.9.
The UK-based renewables-focused crowd bonds lender achieved B Corp status in 2018.
Its overall impact score based on its governance and work with staff, community, the environment and customers is 101.4.
Broota is a Latin American entrepreneurship network.
It lets businesses access finance through equity or investment-based crowdfunding.
The network was accredited in January 2014 and has an overall impact score of 85.
Chilean crowdfunding marketplace Cumplo offers funding and investment services to small businesses.
It has 50,000 registered users, 3,000 investors and 1,000 small – and medium-sized enterprises.
The platform was accredited in July 2013 and has an impact score of 81.
Accredited in October 2018, this is another Chilean investment crowdfunding platform.
Companies are assessed based on the risk, economic profitability and their impact on society and the environment.
Its impact score is 109.2.
Donadora is a Mexica crowdfunding platform and received its B Corp status in November 2016.
Investors can support personal or social issues such as health or environmental campaigns, emergencies and community and environmental projects.
It has been certified since 2016 and has an impact score of 80.1.
Spain- based Fundeen lets citizens invest in renewable energy projects.
It gained B Corp certification in October 2020 and has a score of 86.8.
Certified last year, Lisbon-based GoParity is an impact finance and investment platform that lets people invest in sustainable projects.
It has an impact score of 84.3.
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South Holland-based Lendahand operates in The Netherlands and the UK.
Users can invest in proven entrepreneurs in emerging economies at an interest rate up to 6 per cent a year.
It has been certified since April 2016 and has an impact score of 93.8.
France-based MiiMosa is a funding platform dedicated to agricultural and food sustainable transition.
It gained B Corp certification last year and has an impact score of 81.3.
Sustainable crowdfunding platform Oneplanetcrowd operates in Germany and The Netherlands.
Since launching in 2012, it has grown into a platform with more than 25,000 active investors and raised more than €30m (£25.4m) in funding for sustainable causes and projects.
It has been certified since March 2016 and has an impact score of 95.
South Korea-based RootEnergy is a crowdfunding platform specialising in renewable energy projects.
Anyone can fund projects and businesses that generate clean energy and create a positive environmental impact.
It has been certified since November 2020 and has an impact score of 93.8.
US-based Steward offers flexible loans and support services to farmers, ranchers, fisheries, and food producers.
Investors can back this funding through its online lending platform.
Steward has been certified since October 2019 and has an impact score of 95.6.
In 2016, Sunnyfounder created the first green energy crowdfunding platform in Taiwan.
It lets investors back renewable energy projects in Taiwan.
The platform was accredited in October 2021 and has an impact score of 92.5.
Triodos Crowdfunding, part of Triodos Bank, lets investors back social impact-focused enterprises.
Triodos Bank was certified in March 2015 and has an impact score of 136.4.
We Do Good
France-based crowdfunding platform We Do Good provides investors with access to impact investing projects starting from just €10.
It has been certified since August 2019 and has an impact score of 80.4.