Impact Investing

B Lab Co-Founders Win the 2015 John P. McNulty Prize

October 28, 2015  • Rachel Landis, Guest Blogger

Watch the video above to learn more about B Lab Co-Founders Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy, and Bart Houlahan, the 2015 winners of the $100,000 John P. McNulty Prize.

On October 28, the Aspen Institute and Institute Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty announced Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy and Bart Houlahan as the winners of the eighth annual John P. McNulty Prize. The $100,000 prize recognizes the spirit of innovation and excellence of private sector leaders who use entrepreneurship to address important global social issues. 

Coen Gilbert, Kassoy, and Houlahan are being honored for their work with B Lab, a nonprofit that offers B Corp certifications — also known as “best for the world” certifications — that inspire global business leaders to define success in terms of social good. The men left lucrative positions — Coen Gilbert and Houlahan built a $250 million sports apparel business, while Kassoy worked as a private equity investor — to start the company in 2006. Nine years later, B Lab has worked with more than 1,400 certified B corporations in 42 countries and 121 industries, using the power of enterprise to solve social and environmental problems. In addition, more than 35,000 businesses, investors, governments, and other institutions use the B Impact Assessment as a tool to measure and manage their impact.

“There is a cultural shift underway,” said Coen Gilbert. “The B Corp movement is helping to frame and accelerate this shift so that we think of business not only as a tool to maximize shareholder value, but as a tool to create value for all of society. That means we’re going to have healthier and stronger communities, and we’re going to have a richer and more restored environment for generations to come. Business can, and must, create a shared and durable prosperity for all of us.”

The B Lab co-founders were one of four finalists in this year’s competition, and will be honored at the annual McNulty Prize reception in New York City on November 11th. The other 2015 laureates include Africa Leadership Initiative Fellow Nicola Galombik in South Africa; Central America Leadership Initiative Fellow Gisela Sánchez in Costa Rica; and Catto Fellow Brett Jenks in the US. Each laureate received $10,000.

Have questions for Jay? Ask him yourself!

Join Jay Coen Gilbert for a Q&A about B Lab’s work on Friday, November 6 starting at 12pm EST/9am PST hosted on the Aspen Institute Facebook page. Put it on your Facebook calendar with our Q&A event page.

To learn more about the John P. McNulty Prize, visit