“We’ve seen phenomenal creativity and commitment from our employees.”
Oliver Holtaway interviews Simply Business’ Chief Operating Officer, Bea Montoya.
Written by Oliver Holtaway, on behalf of B Lab UK
Simply Business is the UK’s leading online insurance provider, committed to using data and technological innovation to make it simpler for small businesses to access tailored insurance policies. With over 500,000 customers and offices in London, Northampton and Boston, USA, the company certified in 2017 with a score of 83.3.
The company has long been committed to being a force for good in business, but becoming a B Corp has brought greater focus, stretch and creativity.
“It’s not just about growing the business, it’s about growing while doing the right things, and continuously becoming a better and better B Corp. And by doing so, our teams are happier, and our results continue to improve,” says Bea Montoya, Chief Operating Officer.
Thanks to the B Impact Assessment framework, the company has more strategic clarity in its quest for constant improvement, sparking even greater innovation.
“We’ve seen phenomenal creativity and commitment from our employees,” explains Bea. “They generate ideas that flow throughout our business, truly empowering us to shape our culture and sculpt our organisation into what we see today.”
Hack to the future
This creative boost was clearly felt at the company’s B Corp-themed hackathon, where employees developed innovative solutions for issues including breast cancer awareness and disabled mobility, and created and sponsored a successful social media campaign for the England Amputee Football Association, which secured them long term funding.
“It gave so much pride to everyone involved,” says Bea. “The lift in team spirit, collaboration and motivation was amazing and long lasting.”
Employee pride was also on display during B Corp Month, when Simply Business ran a social media campaign featuring over 60 employees explaining why they have embraced the B Corp movement.
In addition, Simply Business held a “B Fest” day that brought together its impressive host of employee-run groups, which include groups for wellbeing, impact, environment, personal development and a social club, as well as diversity groups for carers, working families, mental health, LGBTQ+, gender diversity and neurodiversity. These groups have long been a part of the firm’s culture, says Bea, but becoming a B Corp has inspired them to think more strategically about what kinds of goals to go after.
All of this creative activity is backed by a robust, target-driven strategy for improving the B Impact Score. By nature a data-driven organisation, Simply Business is currently building KPIs and dashboards to track and measure exactly how it’s making a difference.
B the Change: how Simply Business makes a difference
- Hitting a fundraising milestone of £150,000 for charity Whizz-Kidz in July 2018, more than 6 months early, and providing over £55,000 of sponsorship to The England Amputee Football Association in 2018.
- Offering work experience to apprentices, disadvantaged young people, mentoring people with convictions and implementing the Women in Finance Charter. Simply Business has also been featured as an #IamRemarkable case study by Google for empowering women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace.
- Reducing waste, energy and water usage and increasing recycling, minimising travel and supply chain miles, and engaging in environmental community projects.
How could B Corp help you unleash creativity? Get in touch with B Corp through email@example.com to find out more.
Have you seen the new B Corp video? Click here to watch it now and take the next steps to reinventing business.
A first step for businesses interested in measuring their social and environmental impact is by using the free B Impact Assessment tool. Any company wishing to certify as a B Corp has its performance assessed by B Lab across all dimensions of its business. These companies are on a journey of continuous improvement to ensure business leverages its power to be a positive force in the world.
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