Globally, an increasing number of mission-driven enterprises seek to utilize entrepreneurial principles to advance positive social and environmental change. These nonprofit and for-profit ventures are led by social entrepreneurs—individuals who develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social problems. Given their double- or triple-bottom line objectives (profit, social and/or environmental), these social entrepreneurs operate somewhere between the traditional for-profit and nonprofit boundaries. As a result, the blurring of these boundary lines often leads to unique legal challenges.
The course will focus on the intersection of law and social change and the role that the law can play in hindering or advancing social innovation.
We will analyze the legal forms available to social entrepreneurs, including traditional legal forms (e.g., nonprofits and “tandem” structures involving a nonprofit entity with a for-profit entity) and new legal forms created since 2008 (e.g., benefit corporations, public benefit corporations, social purpose corporations, low-profit limited liability companies (L3Cs) and benefit LLCs).
We will also look at how social entrepreneurs access, or struggle to access, the capital they need to be successful. As well as innovations in social finance including impact investing, social impact funds, social innovation bonds (SIBS) and blended finance and cross sector partnerships.