Bridge in Chile Receives B Corp Status for Dedication to Social Impact

On May 28, 2019, Bridge in Santiago Chile officially became a B Corporation. Companies who achieve B Corp status have been evaluated to ensure that they create significant, positive social and environmental impacts. This achievement has ushered in a new and exciting stage for BridgeChile!

BridgeChile in Santiago, part of Bridge Education Group, has been a leader in the field of language, education, and travel for over two decades. The center offers English language training, intensive Spanish programs, internships in Chilean companies, teacher training and certification, and tailor-made study abroad programs for groups.

As a key provider of English language training in Chile, Bridge recognizes that unequal access to English, resulting from social and economic gaps, can too often translate into a significant loss of opportunities for those affected. This continues to lead to other disadvantages, such as limited employability or career advancement. BridgeChile’s goal, which is supported by seeking B Corp status, is to make English more accessible to everyone and eliminate this gap.


What Exactly Are Certified B Corporations?

B Corps began in 2006 when three friends left their business and private equity careers in order to establish an organization dedicated to making it easier for mission-driven companies to improve their positive impact over time.

Being a certified B Corp means that a company prioritizes providing a healthy working environment, establishing strong communities, creating high-quality job opportunities, reducing inequality, and tackling worldwide issues, such as poverty. Companies who receive B Corp status strive to create inclusive and viable communities.

In 2007, the first 82 B Corps were certified, and today there are more than 2,500 certified B Corps in more than 50 countries around the world.

Why Did Bridge Seek this Status?

Studies conducted the Chilean Ministry of Education and other entities have shown that a higher level of English can correlate to increased professional opportunities. Conversely, gaps in the English domain are linked to social gaps, lower employability and a lack of business and career development. In response to this problem, BridgeChile is dedicated to making a positive social impact by expanding the community’s access to English language training. This access to English can, in turn, lead individuals to a wider range of job opportunities, better positions, and higher salaries.

Carlos Pizarro, Regional Director of Bridge in Chile and Argentina, had this to say about Bridge’s interest in playing a role in the global movement to further social, economic, and environmental progress.

“Since our beginnings in the 90s, BridgeChile has had a special interest in developing initiatives with social impact. Many times, these were led by collaborators or teachers and were conceived as a social contribution but focused on certain beneficiaries. In the last five years, we realized that these initiatives should not be positioned in the company just to add value, but that they should be part of our purpose, since these types of actions, practices, and commitments make up day-to-day business decisions.”


How Does an Organization Get B Corp Certification?

In order to achieve B Corp certification, a company must meet strict guidelines and achieve an eligible score on what is known as the B Impact Assessment. This assessment is an uncompromising evaluation of the company’s impact on the environment, community, customers, and workers.

The company’s assessment scores are then posted online in a report that is available to the public in a further attempt to promote transparency.

For BridgeChile, becoming a B Corp was a long process, but one that created opportunities for learning. “This certification obliges us to improve our management so that our ‘Triple Impact’ as a company (environmental, social, and financial) is ever wider and deeper. This triple Impact is the most important driver for us at BridgeChile,” says Pizarro.


What is the Movement Toward a B Economy?

Becoming a B Corp is a significant step toward responsibly impacting the surrounding communities, and it is also an important step in the movement toward creating a larger B Economy. In a B Economy, “people use business as a force for good” and compete with one another to improve quality of life by addressing environmental and social needs. To build a B Economy, B Corps founders believe that “we need a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit.”

The founders of B Corp further imagine a world in which there is no B Economy, but only a socially conscious global economy aligned toward the greater purpose of shared prosperity within reach of everyone.


An Enduring Commitment to Positive Social Change

Education has always been a driver for social mobility and change, and BridgeChile believes that by providing outstanding English training to students, they can make a direct contribution to advance social progress.

“We are in a segment where there can be a clear social impact. The mastery of foreign languages, especially English, makes a difference in the lives of people and their families,” says Pizarro.

BridgeChile’s new B Corp status gives the organization a deeper purpose and establishes a more concrete social commitment. It opens up new doors for the organization to contribute to the greater good in Chile since being a socially responsible corporation means creating a new generation of successful teachers, employees, and students.

Founded in 1986, Bridge is a world leader in language and education abroad. An international company with headquarters in Denver, Colorado, Bridge offers a wide spectrum of language related products and services, including language training and immersion programs, teacher training and development courses, language testing, translation and interpretation services, and cross-cultural education abroad programs.

Bridge and BridgeTEFL are registered trademarks of Bridge Education Group, Inc. in the USA. All other company names may be trademarks of their respective owners. ©2019 Bridge Education Group, Inc. All rights reserved.