REWRITE THE RULES
We are rewriting the rules for our local economy, inspired by grassroots organizing principles, small business and cooperative leadership, and the lived experience of working class residents of color.
What are they?
36 enterprise practices across 8 categories, designed to ensure that businesses we invest in together reflect the values and goals of Boston's working class neighborhoods of color.
Ujima’s Good Business Certification helps shift our collective spending and support away from businesses that are harming our communities and the earth, and towards businesses building a community economy that we nurture and grow.
How does the certification work?
The standards are approved and updated yearly by Ujima’s voting members. Businesses interested in joining the Ujima Business Alliance (UBA) are evaluated by Ujima’s Community Standards Committee to ensure companies are in compliance with our standards. In the UBA, businesses are eligible for benefits like access to capital, technical assistance, customer loyalty, sales advocacy and public support.
UJIMA GOOD BUSINESS CATEGORIES
As a new community experiment to build a People's Economy in Boston, the success of Ujima depends on the participation and good faith effort of all of its stakeholders.
GOOD FAITH EFFORT
Women, people of color, and women of color in particular are disproportionately excluded from opportunities for business ownership. Enterprises owned by underrepresented entrepreneurs help growth wealth, jobs and resilience in working class communities of color.
Minimum wage laws do not ensure the full-time workers can meet their basic needs, and the number of “working poor” - especially amongst women of color - continues to grow in America. Living wages with benefits and equitable compensation policies can help reverse this trend.
The lack of employee voice in decision making can create negative workplace environments that are unhealthy for both workers and managers. Structures that empower employees in relevant decisions tend to increase worker satisfaction and overall business efficiency.
Businesses can play a vital role in transforming the racial health gap, by committing to practices that support the health and wellbeing of their workers and families.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Business that produce goods or provide services for local consumption are responsive to community needs and help build economic resilience in Greater Boston.
Businesses can help strengthen the economy by prioritizing local, socially responsible contractors, suppliers, service providers and other vendors.
CUSTOMERS & VENDORS
The consequences of global climate change and pollution most negatively impact working class residents and communities of color. Social enterprises can challenge this tide by transitioning to ecologically responsible practices.
Firms without practices for community participation are at higher risk for making decisions that alienate customers and harm their communities. Firms that incorporate consumer governance or maintain robust feedback channels will be better businesses.
UJIMA GOOD BUSINESS STANDARDS
COMMUNITY STANDARDS COMMITTEE
Health Chair, Boston NAACP
Program Manager, Mass Cultural Council
Lead Organizer, Restaurant Opportunities Center, Boston
Community Organizer, City Life/ Vida Urbana
Worker Owner, Tanám