Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Poster

First Advisor

Schatteman, Alicia


Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies


This qualitative and quantitative study will examine and analyze the practices of fourth-sector businesses and how they interact with and compare to our decades old three-sector economy model. Fourth-sector organizations, also called “B-Corporations” or “For-Benefits” are businesses that have decided to get a certification that allows them to benefit from a social cause. This creates a hybrid model business that takes the consumer aspect of business and combines with the social change aspect of nonprofits to create a new business model in our economy. This study will focus on a well-known B-Corporation, TOMS, and how their business model and success has changed and improved since becoming a certified For-Benefit business. Researchers conclude that the best approach to studying B-Corporations is to focus on impact and annual reports to see if profits increased and how much more consumers are willing to invest and interact with corporations with a cause rather than a business or traditional nonprofit.


Center of Nonprofit Studies


Northern Illinois University

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