Kristin Joys presents at an the Business for Good Lab Final Presentations
Dr. Kristin Joys, Director of the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative and Social Entrepreneurship Lecturer in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, was recognized for her work founding and directing the UF Business for Good Lab: Sustainable Business Consulting.

Entrepreneurship faculty member honored with Champions for Change Award

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kristin Joys, Director of the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative and Social Entrepreneurship Lecturer in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, is among the awardees of the 2021 Champions for Change. Joys was recognized for her work founding and directing the UF Business for Good Lab: Sustainable Business Consulting in the sustainability category, which encompasses efforts made in the areas of waste reduction, water/energy conservation, social equity, outreach/engagement, academics, green teams and more.

From the University of Florida Office of Sustainability and Healthy Gators, the annual Champions for Change Awards recognize individuals and groups in the UF community who have made significant contributions in the areas of sustainability or health & wellness during their time at UF.

“The work we’re doing in Warrington’s Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative isn’t just about attempting to make our lives more sustainable, in terms of mitigating the effects of global warming & climate change— it’s about positively impacting people, the planet, and prosperity,” Joys said. “We’re able to do this work, and are humbled to yet again receive the UF Champions for Change Award, because of the tremendous support of so many folks in the community who generously give of their time, energy, and resources to support our students— as community partners, speakers, panelists, mentors, judges, subject matter experts, and volunteers.

UF Business for Good Lab: Sustainable Business Consulting for B Corp certification with Kristin Joys presenting award to Sustainable Breakthroughs team, founded by Gator Grad, Grant Kendzior

Joys presents a Florida for Good award to the Sustainable Breakthroughs team, founded by Gator grad Grant Kendzior, at the Business for Good Lab final presentations.

“We couldn’t run the UF Business for Good Lab without our friends at Florida for Good; nor could we run the Emerging Enterprise Consulting course without our friends at the Partnership for Reimagining Gainesville. Our generous community partners & volunteers show up, time and time again, because they believe in our students who are so bright, motivated, hard-working and clearly aspire to become changemakers, as do I.”

The Business for Good Lab is an experiential learning program modeled after the B Corp Clinic, in partnership with Florida for Good, that connects students with Florida businesses working to be more innovative, sustainable, inclusive and resilient. Students volunteer their time to help companies become Certified B Corporations, which are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Since the program began in 2019, 132 students (98 undergraduate and 34 graduate) have consulted with 33 Florida companies, volunteering over 6,600 hours which has created $188,364 of value to the community.

As part of the steps it takes to become a Certified B Corporation, businesses complete the B Impact Assessment, which measures the company’s impact on its workers, community, environment and customers. The Business for Good Lab students helped their Florida business clients gain a total of 1,492.07 points. Twenty-four of the 33 Business for Good Lab teams helped their business clients score over 80 points, which exceeds the standard required for B Corporation Certification.

Business for Good Lab student Nicole Shuman (BSBA ’20, MIB ’21) worked with Orchard, a technology service company that assists older individuals with their technology needs. Through their work in the Business for Good Lab, Shuman and her team were able to help Orchard raise its score from 55 to 84.9 through the creation of a whistleblower policy, code of ethics, environmental stewardship document and more.

Shuman, who had not heard of Certified B Corporations prior to the Business for Good Lab, previously had the impression that most businesses were primarily motivated by their own self-interests. But her experience in the program has shown her that businesses can and are willing to do more than just help themselves.

“Since participating in Business for Good Lab, my eyes have been open to an entirely new approach to doing business, which has been a refreshing and exciting experience,” Shuman said. “My company partner, Orchard, and all of the other company partners have demonstrated their dedication to creating a business that has a positive impact on the world. This has inspired me because it showed me that companies do not need to be rooted in selfish intentions. There are plenty of businesses out there who have centered their business model around having the greatest positive impact that they possibly can.”

The Business for Good Lab: Sustainable Business Consulting program is just one of the many programs that Joys has helped create to educate and inspire students on social impact and sustainable business. Other notable programs that Joys has led as part of the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative include the Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability (YELS) Summer Program for high school students, which ran from 2007-2016 impacting the lives of over 370 students who contributed more than 35,000 hours of volunteer service to nearly 100 non-profit organizations in greater-Gainesville with a value of more than $777,000, and the new UF Social Impact & Sustainability Impact Scholars program where both undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to study impact, practice impact, create impact and share their impact stories.

Joys has taught social entrepreneurship at Warrington since 2005. In 2013, she was named the University of Florida Sustainability Professor of the Year and earned the University of Florida Online Education Excellence Award in 2015 for her course Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship. In 2016, she was awarded the United States Association Small Business & Entrepreneurship Education Specialty Entrepreneurship Education Program Award and Gainesville’s Mayor & City Commission officially declared July 7, 2016, as Young Entrepreneurship for Leadership & Sustainability (YELS) Day, honoring Joys and the entrepreneurship program that positively impacted the lives of hundreds of students for a decade.

Joys earned her Post-Doctoral degree in marketing and management, Ph.D. in social psychology in sociology, MA in sociology and bachelor’s in psychology with minors in sociology, religion, and women’s and gender studies, all from the University of Florida. She also earned an executive degree in social entrepreneurship from Stanford in 2014, and she trained with Dr. Brené Brown to become a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator in 2019, recertifying in summer 2020 with a focus on justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.

“I feel so fortunate to do what I do, to have a job that I love, where it’s a pleasure & privilege to create opportunities for students to, quite literally, ‘be the change they wish to see in the world’ (as paraphrased from Gandhi),” Joys said. “Playing even a teeny tiny role in students’ lives, being present as they practice courage & kindness, collaborating to create capacity-building deliverables with & for their community partner entrepreneurs (in courses like Intro to Social Entrepreneurship, the UF Business for Good Lab, and Emerging Enterprise Consulting), is truly an honor and joy.”