Transitioning from a Traditional Business to a Social Enterprise
Social Entrepreneur Bernie Geiss Shares Insights and Lessons Learned on the Path to Restructuring His Company for the Impact-Driven Space
After traveling and studying yoga and meditation in the East, Bernie Geiss returned to work in North Vancouver. Transitioning back to Western life, he entered the insurance field, where he eventually established his own financial services company. But Geiss found himself yearning for a company that truly reflected his values and principles. This desire for something more is what ultimately drove his decision to change direction and steer his business into more meaningful territory.
Now, Cove Continuity Advisors is an independent insurance agency and impact advisory firm in Vancouver, British Columbia. Whether it’s finding reliable insurance plans for a client’s time of need, helping companies of all sizes become Certified B Corporations, or simply improving positive impact, Cove Continuity Advisors ensures each interaction is done with honesty, accountability, and thoughtful guidance in mind. The company is now B Corp certified and a 2019 Best For The World: Workers honoree, is a member of 1% for the Planet, and has gone on to win the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Best Business Award for its efforts. Geiss also has become increasingly involved in First Nation reconciliation projects and even nationwide legislation on the issue.
In this episode of Grow Ensemble’s Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Podcast, Geiss shares insight from his experience transitioning into the impact-driven space and what it has meant for the operations of the company, as well as for him personally. He also shares his thoughts on the importance of reflection and third-party guidance and offers tips on finding the right advisor for your company.
Want more episodes that provide meaningful insights into building an impact-driven business? Look here:
- #02 — Promoting Responsible Tourism & Building an Impact Driven Tribe with Adrianne Chandra-Huff from Bodhi Surf + Yoga
- #03 — A New Frontier: Cultivating Consciousness in the Cannabis Industry with Henry Marshall of Canniloq
- #18 — From Google, Amazon and Adobe to An Ethical Fashion Startup with Laura Alexander Wittig, CEO of Brightly
Cove Continuity Advisors is part of the community of businesses that have used a third-party verification of their impact. Use the free B Impact Assessment to evaluate your company’s impact on all stakeholders, including the environment, your workers, your community and your customers.
Join us for our episode with Geiss and a few of our favorite takeaways:
- His global experiences with traveling and yoga.
- The evolution of Cove Continuity Advisors.
- The importance of internal reflection for both yourself and your team to keep things on target.
- The benefits of receiving outside consulting for your business.
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
Transitioning From a Traditional Business to a Social Enterprise was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.