A New Brunswick-made documentary that explains the benefits of starting a social venture and gaining B Corp (Benefit Corporation) certification will soon be available for public viewing.

A social venture is a business that aims to solve a social or environmental problem as well as turn a profit. Social ventures are becoming more common and more influential.

The new 15-minute documentary, B is for Benefit, was created by Joel Thompson, founder of Fredericton film production company East Lens Media. It features some of those best-known for promoting social entrepreneurship in the region.

In it, they speak passionately about moving away from the customary focus on profit to a new emphasis on the three Ps — people, planet, profit — that characterize a social venture.

For Thompson, making the film proved educational.

“I’ve always been interested in telling stories of social good, but I’d never heard of B Corp, didn’t realize it was a thing,” he said.

He learned that B Corp certification is a globally recognized way to prove that a business’ ethics are sound in everything from sourcing to marketing.

There are now more than 2,000 B Corps in more than 50 countries; 13 in Atlantic Canada. (Certification is dispensed by Pennsylvania-based B-Lab, the non-profit that launched the movement in 2006.)

“Our documentary was funded by the Pond-Deshpande Centre at University of New Brunswick, which works to support social ventures,” Thompson said. “I had no idea about Pond-Deshpande either but they’re there to support people starting businesses for the right reasons — because they want to change their communities.

“Now I’m hoping to show the documentary in high schools, to show students that creating a successful business is a great way to effect change.”

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Making the documentary was a natural progression for Thompson. Two years ago, he created the Facebook-based social enterprise Friendly Fred, which uses video to tell stories of social good being done in and around Fredericton. Thompson intends to extend the idea to cover the entire Atlantic region.

“Friendly Fred got going because when I was producing films for companies and people in and around New Brunswick I’d often hear about positive things in the community, such as a fundraiser,” he said.

“I felt those people were not getting attention. It hit me that as a videographer I could tell those stories.”

Thompson, now 33, has been in the business of making movies for the last 17 years. He’s worked on well-known feature films, such as Growing Op, Sticks and Stones, and American Sunset. He has also produced many short films, feature films, documentaries and music videos. One short film, Boxface, won several awards.

Born in Nova Scotia, he moved to Fredericton at age six and got into videography at 10 when his dad, Pastor Paul Thompson, brought home a video camera.

Thompson and his colleague, videographer Jesse Anthony, are currently finishing their documentary’s final edit.

The film will initially be screened on Sept. 15 at a showing for those involved. Afterwards, the makers will brainstorm ideas on how to best use it.

“I’d love the documentary to be a tool to be shown at conferences,” Thompson said, “and to show to young people, to show young entrepreneurs that they can make a difference.

“Even if you don’t become a B Corp, you can be a triple-bottom line business. You can have those values of people, planet and profits in your DNA.”

Thompson said people interested in screening the documentary can contact him through his company.