What is the Best for Rhode Island Challenge?

The Best for Rhode Island Challenge is an online impact assessment that helps businesses see the impact of their worker, community, and environmental business practices. It is the core tool offered through the Best for Rhode Island campaign, which supports businesses in making positive changes to their business practices.

How long does the Challenge take?

Answering all Challenge questions takes between 30 and 45 minutes for most small businesses, and we strongly encourage you to estimate your answers the first time through. The time it takes to answer questions depends on the size, age, and complexity your company. The assessment can be saved and revisited at any time – if you’re not sure of an answer, you can skip or estimate it and come back later.

Does it cost anything to take the Challenge?

No. The Challenge is a free business intelligence tool available to all companies in Rhode Island at no charge.

What kinds of businesses should take the Challenge?

The Best for Rhode Island Challenge is applicable to all businesses, regardless of your business size (number of employees) or sector. When taking the Challenge, you will be presented with questions that are tailored to the size and type (sector) of your business. Most businesses that complete the Challenge are businesses that have under 50 employees, but it is built to accommodate businesses of any size.

Who developed the standards contained in the Challenge?

The questions in the Best for Rhode Island Challenge are derived from the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive impact assessment tool created and administered by the non-profit B Lab. The questions in the B Impact Assessment & Best for RI Challenge are created and revised by B Lab’s Standards Advisory Council, a group of independent experts with deep industry and stakeholder expertise. See the full membership of the Standards Advisory Council on B Lab’s website.

The B Impact Assessment also goes through a private and public testing period in which feedback is collected and integrated into its final versions. Expert working groups are convened in order to explore specific issues more closely. The B Impact Assessment is updated every two years in order to accommodate new and innovative practices, respond to the feedback of its users, and to more accurately assess the impact of all types of businesses.

Who in our company should complete the Challenge?

Anyone that is interested! There’s no minimum title or tenure to take the Challenge.

We recommend appointing one team member as a lead; this individual typically completes a first draft of the Challenge and then convenes a supporting team to assist with double-checking responses. CEOs, CFOs, HR Managers, COOs, Associates, and Interns have all taken companies through the Challenge with success.


What will I need to prepare before completing the Challenge?

The following items may be helpful when completing the Challenge:

  • Company’s financials. It may be helpful to have either a Profit & Loss Statement or your accounting system (e.g. QuickBooks) open.
  • Supplier information. If possible, refer to a vendor ledger with amounts spent in the 12 months. This will help you answer many questions related to your supply chain.
  • Employee roster. This will help you answer many questions related to your workforce.
  • Employee handbook. Several questions refer to the policies and programs your business offers your employees in writing.

If you don’t have all these at hand, don’t worry. You can estimate your responses and return to questions with relevant documents or materials.

How can I access services or support to make improvements to my business?

Check out our News & Events page for information on upcoming improvement-focused workshops and events, and feel free to reach out directly to Best for RI staff and our partner organizations for guidance. As a first step, we encourage you to check out our resource guides which are linked to various topics addressed in the Best for RI Challenge. The resource guides can spark ideas and point you to case studies, organizations, and articles that may be useful as you chart your path towards incremental improvements. Resource guides can be found here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1m5Dbe-3Ro18gHcj3ciJC98PgWMFNnWpU. Please check back periodically since we’ll be adding to this library over time.

What is the "business case" for socially impactful business practices?

Socially impactful business practices are not only good for workers, communities, and the environment, they’re also great for business. You can explore some of the current research on this topic here:

Please email info@bestforri.com if you’d like us to point you to more research on a particular topic.

Who sees my answers to questions in the Challenge?

Your data is kept confidential when you answer questions in the Best for Rhode Island Challenge. Individual answers from businesses are never shared publicly. After you complete the Challenge, if you choose to complete the full B Impact Assessment and have your answers verified, you will review your responses with a B Lab staff member as part of the verification process. B Lab review staff are bound by confidentiality agreements.

Is the Best for Rhode Island Challenge a competition?

The Best for Rhode Island Challenge exists to support businesses in making positive changes to their worker, community, and environmental practices. While business owners can view their performance measured against the performance of other businesses who have completed the assessment, the Challenge is part of a collaborative campaign that builds a community of out of people using business as a force for good in Rhode Island.

Who is leading the Best for Rhode Island initiative?
 Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) is partnering with business, government, and community organizations throughout Rhode Island to implement the Best for Rhode Island initiative. It is part of a movement of other national and global campaigns that are supporting businesses in making positive changes to their business practices.
What is a B Corporation? And how do we become one?

Certified B Corporations (B Corps) are businesses that are leading the way in using business as a force for good. B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Joining the Best for RI Challenge is a first step to becoming a B Corp. Learn more about the full process at www.bcorporation.net/become-a-b-corp/how-to-become-a-b-corp. Today there is a growing community of more than 2,100 Certified B Corps from 40 countries and over 140 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.