LECTURE : Legal Structures of Social Enterprises at the New School

I was delighted to be invited back to the New School  again this year to give a guest lecture on Thursday, September 27.  The topic was the legal structures that are available to social enterprises. Social enterprises, operated by social entrepreneurs, are business entities that are formed with the primary goal of doing some good in the world.  These ideas can impact the immediate community around them or affect individuals across the globe. The course, called “The Big Idea”, guides students with ideas for social enterprise, from conceptualization through to honing the business summary, selecting sources of funding, legal considerations such as business structures, as well as identifying partners and resources.

Zak provided the class’s participants with an overview of practical and legal considerations when pursuing social entrepreneurship. Much of the presentation focused on discussing the business structures available under New York law as well as some of the newer hybrid structures, such as limited-profit limited liability companies (sometimes called an L3C) and benefit corporations.

The course is taught by Prof. Dennis Derryck, who has a long history of fostering social enterprise in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Most recently, he is the founder of the Corbin Hill Farm, utilizing a hybrid for-profit and non-profit structure to bring fresh nutritious produce to disadvantaged communities in so-called ‘food deserts‘.

Zak Shusterman has advised numerous non-profit corporations and social enterprises throughout NYC and abroad. He has acted as counsel to Corbin Hill Farm since its inception and advises on its ongoing transition from LLC to a non-profit called the Corbin Hill Food Project.

If you are a social entrepreneur, or are considering whether the non-profit or for-profit route is appropriate for your project, feel free to contact Zak Shusterman directly to discuss how he might be of service to you and your project.

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