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Showing posts from March 28, 2010

When if comes to good will, will this group prompt good actions?

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Jay Coen Gilbert sips lemonade at a Cosí sandwich shop in suburban Philadelphia and explains how he got the idea to turn traditional profit-seeking American business upside down.

Coen Gilbert set up B Lab in Berwyn, Pa. in 2006 with two friends from his undergraduate days at Stanford, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy. So far it has certified 287 companies. They range from Seventh Generation, a $150 million (sales) Burlington, Vt. maker of green household products, to ShoreBank, a $2.5 billion (assets) Chicago community development lender.

"There's nothing wrong with making money," Coen Gilbert, 42, concedes. A lanky entrepreneur from New York City, he made a pile in 2005, when together with Houlahan, 42, he sold And 1, a $250 million Paoli, Pa. basketball footwear and apparel company. Kassoy, 40, reaped his own fortune at Michael Dell's private investment group, MSD Capital. And 1 had used Chinese factories certified by a monitoring group, had paid their U.S. employee…