Etsy made mistakes, but its commitment to social responsibility wasn’t one of them
On April 16, 2015 the CEO of Etsy rang the opening bell at Nasdaq’s headquarters in Times Square. The date marked a momentous occasion, one in which many believers in the social responsibility of business viewed as a promising turning point for capitalism.
The online marketplace for handmade goods was one of the first companies to IPO with a B Corp certification, a third-party validation of its commitment to social responsibility. More than 2,300 companies in over 50 countries are certified B Corps, including well known privately-held companies Patagonia, Warby Parker, Method and Kickstarter. Etsy was the trailblazer among them.
The CEO at the time, Chad Dickerson, expressed his confidence in the company’s future and social mission. “The success of our business model is based on the success of our sellers,” he told the New York Times. “That means we don’t have to make a choice between people and profit.”
Photo courtesy of Dean Hochman.