We don’t all start from the same place.

Businesses that address the needs of their community and of our shared planet deserve a fair shot. We must acknowledge the imbalances in entrepreneurship and actively level the field in order to build a more inclusive and just economy.

That is why B Lab U.S. & Canada strives to support businesses facing systemic challenges to economic empowerment through our Level program.

Apply Here

Why Level?

Businesses led by Black, Indigenous or People of Color who also identify as women work alongside B Corp Certification consulting firms through the B Corp Certification process. Level provides participating businesses with resources needed to: measure and improve their impact, tell their story, adopt legal stakeholder governance, and certify as a B Corp. And we all co-create and learn along the way.


“We love what the B Corp movement and community is all about! Having gone through this process, we are impressed with the thoughtfulness and comprehensiveness that has gone into the Certification process. Many Native companies, in particular, could benefit from this form of incorporation and Certification — however, I can imagine few would be able to navigate this process without the assistance of something like the Level program.”

They Are The Future: The Numbers

17% of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color women-identifying entrepreneurs are in the process of starting or running a business, compared to 10% of white women and 15% of white men. Source

36.1% of all Black-owned businesses are owned by women — higher than any other racial group. Source

2x higher rate of First Nations and Inuit women-identifying led businesses in Canada compared to non-identifying Indigenous women-identifying peers. Source

18% of young (under 35) Indigenous Americans are business owners — 4% higher than the average. Source

Yet the current system unfairly demands that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color women-identifying led businesses be more qualified than their white peers to access the same resources.

How to Apply

Prior to submitting your application, we are asking applicants to review the prerequisites listed below. These two videos – the Becoming a B Corp and which ever legal change video that applies to your business- cover important pieces of the B Corp certification. Both must be completed in order for us to review your application. Each video should not take more than 45 minutes to 1 hour. Required prerequisites:

Apply Here

  • Business must be led and/or owned by Black, Indigenous or People of Color who also identify as women
  • Have a basic familiarity of — better yet, some progress through — the B Impact Assessment
  • Familiar with and willing to adopt the legal requirement as part of B Corp Certification
  • Business is based in the U.S. or Canada and has been in operation for at least 12 months
  • What is behind the name? Level is a palindrome and has visual significance. Backward or forwards it has the same definition and comes from the Greek root: again. And so the name has two implications:
  1. Equity is a recognition that we do not all start from the same place and we must acknowledge that in our work and make adjustments to imbalances, by leveling the field and
  2. The continuation of this program will not always be linear. Along with our partners, we will go backward and forwards with this program, at times we fail forward, but we keep our sights on the shared vision of leveling access to our tools, programs, and B Corp Certification.
  • What’s a B Corp? Glad you asked. Certified B Corporations are for-profit companies that use their business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of social & environmental performance, have higher levels of transparency, and are legally accountable to their mission. They stand for a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system for all people and planet. We’d like to think they’re the future of how businesses should operate.
  • How many companies are accepted into the program? In 2021 we accepted five and in 2022 we accepted 10. We plan on having space for more in 2023 while preserving the depth and intimacy of the group.
  • Is the B Corp Certification then free? No, it is not. However, we offer an honorarium for all companies who participate in the program, which likely covers more than a year of B Corp Certification. Additionally, companies that complete the Level program are currently exempt from increases in certification fees* and qualify for an equity discount based on their annual revenue.*Subject to change
  • What is the time commitment of these companies to participate in the program? We ask companies to dedicate about 2-6 hours a week over the course of the five to six month program. The founder/CEO does not need to be the individual representing the business participating in the program.
  • I’m already a Pending B. Can I participate? Yes!
  • What if a company doesn’t end up certifying as a B Corp at the end of the program? Is there a penalty? Absolutely not. We just hope you gained personal and business value from participating.
  • I’d like to support Level! Who can I speak to? We’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to us at: certify@bcorporation.net 

Listen & Level Up

Bringing Humanity to Skincare

As the B Corp Movement continues to grow, we find ourselves at an impasse — do we continue to have the same conversations of yesterday, failing to find common ground? Or do we slow down to listen and, dare we say, level up? 

In the second installment of B Lab U.S. & Canada’s Listen & Level Up series, we seek to explore how B Corps, like Hanahana Beauty, a Black female-owned skincare company, is bringing humanity to the skincare industry— particularly with high competition and growing representation among BIPOC business owners. Abena Boamah-Acheampong, owner of Hanahana Beauty, will sit down with Simone Jordan, Global Head, Purpose & Brand Partnerships at SheaMoisture, to discuss what it looks like for a brand to keep its values at the forefront once acquired by a multi-national corporation, the environmental impact of sourcing practices, the value of B Corp Certification, Level certification, and much more!

Watch the recording on our YouTube channel!

Listen & Level Up

Inequitable Access to Profit & Capital: The Numbers

$24k: average revenue of Black women-identifying founders.

$143k: average revenue of all women-identifying founders. Source

61%: Black women-identifying founders self-fund their start-up capital.

29%: Black women-identifying founders live in households with income over $75k compared to 52% of white men. Source

2% of venture capital goes to women-identifying founders. Source

1.86% of venture capital goes to First Nations and Inuit founders in Canada. Source

1% of Black-owned businesses in their first year obtained loans they applied for compared to 7% of white-owned businesses. Source

And we at B Lab U.S. & Canada, along with the B Corp community, have work to do. 

12% of Certified B Corporations in the U.S. & Canada are owned by individuals from racially/ethnically marginalized communities compared to approximately 19% representation across the U.S. & Canada.

2021 Pilot

100% of participants would recommend this program to a peer as a valuable use of their time. 

100% of participants felt a sense of inclusion and belonging in the program. 

80% of participants can point to specific transformational practices at their business due to the program.


“It helped me dig deeper on how my personal values aligned with our brand’s values which is important.”

Thank You to Our Level Participating Companies

  • Samantha Williams

    President & CEO, 628 Digital Design | Full-service digital content design and marketing (2023)

  • Christa Barfield

    CEO, FarmerJawn Foods | Agriculture is the Culture (2023)

  • Keecha Harris

    President & CEO, Keecha Harris & Associates, Inc. | Linking People, Resources, and Results (2023)

  • Asha Wheeldon

    Founder & CEO, KULA Foods Inc. | Afro-Vegan nourishment for inclusive plant-forward future (2023)

  • Melissa-Sue John

    CEO, Lauren Simone Publishing House

  • Mel Wyatt

    Principal Developer & Investor, MW Enterprises, LLC | The next generation builds wealth through real estate (2023)

  • Dayani Centeno-Torres

    President, Palabrería, Servicios de Comunicación, CSP| Let's build relations of value (2023)

  • Patrice Mousseau

    Founder & CEO, Satya Organics Inc. | Be proud of what you put on your skin (2023)

  • Sheryl Grant

    Founder & CEO, Sheryl Grant International | FIT (Faith, Intuition, and Tenacity) for Business

  • Beatriz Acevedo

    Founder, SUMA Wealth | The leading financial technology company devoted to increasing prosperity, opportunity, and financial inclusion for young, U.S. Latinos (2023)

  • Ehime Eigbe

    Founder & CEO, Your Way Foods, LLC | Bridging the gap between good for you, functional nutrition and great taste for the health conscious consumer (2023)

  • Chelsea Odufu

    Co-Founder, Tech Afrique | Afro-futuristic immersive audio visual healing platform through electronic music, art and technology (2023)

  • Courtney Stewart

    Co-Owner, The Good Kiind | Offering high quality lunch box containers and accessories for school age children. Built to last, not to leak! (2023)

  • Natika Washington

    Founder & CEO, Toby Strategies LLC | Tomorrow Owned By You (2023)

collage of BIPOC women

Thank you to our 2021-2022 Level Cohort

Learn more about the women and companies behind out first Level cohort!

Learn More

Program Offerings

  • Hand holding a single daisy

    Peer Connection

    Opportunity to connect with one another through the program as well as Certified B Corporations from the BIPOC Leaders Network.

  • Hand stacking shapes to build and abstract structure

    Capacity Building

    Capture, benchmark, and improve social & environmental impact with the assistance from world-leading women-led Certified B Corporation consulting firms.

  • Speech bubble illustration on a blue background


    Tell your story, in your words, to the audience you want to reach.

  • Illustration of colorful falling confetti and hearts on a black background


    If there’s no dancing in your revolution, we want no part in it. This program is built on important work full of joyful participation.

  • Illustration of dollar sign on green background


    All companies that participate are paid an unrestricted honorarium.


Many of the small businesses I know of in ‘Indian Country’ are built with intentions of benefit to a larger community. Every now and then, one of those businesses will expand and grow — with investors and other stakeholders. When that happens, there is a risk of mission-drift, catering to the demands of stakeholders versus community — putting intent and personal values against profit and growth. So the idea of protecting mission is important.”

Thank You to Our Program Partners

  • Cee Stanley

    Deep gratitude for co-creating this program. CEO | Farmer | Environmentalist

    Green Heffa Farms Website
  • Shola Gbemi

    With support from Shola Gbemi, Program Design Specialist.

In Partnership With

With Funding Support From

Prudential Financial Logo

Be Inspired

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    Level Program Aims to Deepen Relationships with New and Needed Voices in the B Corp Community

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