Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise

Anyone who watches the news, or simply goes out into the world every day, has probably already gained the impression that communities are facing an enormous amount of social and environmental problems. The number of issues facing the world today is far greater and more complex than ever, and these problems have quickly outstripped the government’s ability to solve them. Even non-profit organizations, which are created solely for charitable purposes, are unable to meet the needs of our society in an era of reduced contributions due to a weak economy.

In order to meet the growing needs and widening gap between those needs and the available support, businesses are innovating and restructuring to find a working middle ground between the profit motive, and the nonprofit charitable purpose.  A hybrid of profits with a conscience.   This is what social enterprise movement attempts to accomplish. Corporations are realizing that corporations need their communities just as much as communities need corporations. After all, no amount of strategy will help a business succeed if the world crumbles around it.

A benefit corporation is one which holds itself to higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency. Purpose has been reinvented, and these corporations now include the production of high quality jobs and improved quality of life along with the traditional goal of turning a profit. There is a growing interest amongst investors to contribute to companies which strive to address environmental and social concerns. A benefit corporation seeks to bridge the desires of these motivated, philanthropic investors with the pressing needs of the community.

The social enterprise movement has become so popular that it has inspired bi-partisan support for legislation in 11 states. Sixteen more states are poised to join them, by creating laws to give businesses the freedom and protection to create this new corporate structure. These laws carry no impact for state budgets, but improve the quality of life for all citizens. As corporate leaders recognize the mutual benefits for both themselves and their communities, we will continue to see more companies restructure themselves into benefit corporations.

At Bethel Law Corporation, we are assisting organizations in the establishment of this corporate structure.  We invite you to contact our office for further details.

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