News Spotlight Nominees and winners More Spotlights

TrustLaw Training: Social Enterprise & Impact Investing

Updated: Sun, 11 Sep 2016

A day-long training course for lawyers in the United StatesBack to top

Enlarge image

On 13 September 2016, the TrustLaw team and social innovation experts will run a full-day accredited legal training course on social enterprise and impact investing.

This course will explore key legal issues and trends in the burgeoning social innovation space and provide lawyers and other professionals with the skills they need to advise the different stakeholders in the sector. It is the first of its kind to combine hands-on legal training with practical case studies and excellent networking opportunities, facilitating strategic discussions and the sharing of best practices in the realm of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

Teaching will be delivered with a mix of lectures, panels, and interactive activities facilitated by academics, lawyers, social investors and social entrepreneurs themselves.

At the end of this training, participants will become part of a community of practice and should be able to:

  • Understand the shape of the social economy in the U.S. and how the U.S. has positioned itself as a leading player in this space globally
  • Advise on the appropriate business structure for different social enterprises and on different mechanisms to lock social mission into business activities
  • Recognize the key legal issues facing social entrepreneurs to help ensure agreements and commercial documentation reflect the financial and social realities of this rapidly growing sector
  • Have a clear understanding of some of the different tools used to inject capital into socially focused businesses, including social impact bonds, crowdfunding and impact investment funds

The training will also be held in London again this year, with a breakfast series format over three days on 19, 25 and 27 October 2016. For more information on the London training agenda and registration, check out our website or reach out to Shiura at

Course DetailsBack to top


13 September 2016
9.00am - 6.00pm (full-day training)
6.00pm - 8.00pm (cocktail reception) 

Morrison & Foerster LLP
425 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94105

Full-Day Course - $400

Breakfast, lunch, and drinks reception included. Group discounts are available. NGOs and social enterprises are entitled to a reduced rate. For more information, please contact Carolina Henriquez-Schmitz.

The cost of the course goes to support the work of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono service, TrustLaw, which connects the world’s leading legal teams to provide free legal assistance to NGOs and social enterprises working for social and environmental change.

This course has been approved for up to 10 CLE credits in New York and New Jersey and 8 credits in California. Credits issued will be based upon verified attendance and applicable rules.

REGISTRATION OPEN - Space is strictly limited.

Part One: Social EnterpriseBack to top

The first part of the course is designed to provide participants with a big picture market overview of the social enterprise space in the United States and beyond. Three topics, ranging in format from lectures to interactive workshops, will give attendees a thorough overview of the market, structuring options, and the key legal challenges that arise for lawyers and other professionals serving this space.

8.30 - 9.00 | Registration & Coffee/Breakfast

9.00 - 9.20 | Introduction & Keynote Address

Keynote Speaker: Cheryl Dorsey, President, Echoing Green

9.20 - 9.50 | Social Enterprise 101: The Big Picture
A market overview of the social enterprise sector in the U.S. including definitions of social enterprise, history, key terminology and key debates.

Speaker: Alina Ball, Associate Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law

9.50 - 11.00 | Structuring Social Enterprises - Lecture & Panel
The lecture will cover the different types of structures and financing available to social enterprises, including:

  • Types of structures and key differences, including for-profit, nonprofit, benefit corporation, flexible purpose corporations, L3C and hybrids
  • Financing: grants, debt, equity, social investment, capital markets instruments
  • Locking in social purpose
  • Challenges in blending social purpose and financial return
  • Shareholders vs. Stakeholders

The panel will consist of an exchange of personal insight and experiences on when each structure is most suitable for a social enterprise, to separate the hype from the practical utility of the new forms.

Moderator: Perry Teicher, Impact Finance Fellow, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Panelists: William Clark, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP; Susan Mac Cormac, Partner, Morrison & Foerster; Robert Wexler, Principal, Adler & Colvin

11.00 - 11.15 | Networking Break

11.15 - 12.30 | Workshop - Structuring & Locking in Social Mission
This interactive session will build on the previous session, and allow participants to practice advising social entrepreneurs on the right structure and how to lock in social mission based on case studies.

12.30 - 1.30 | Social Enterprise Expo Lunch
Lunch expo to showcase interesting developments in social enterprise and impact investing from around the world.

1.30 - 2.30 | Through the Eyes of a Social Entrepreneur
Overview of the key legal challenges faced by new social businesses including shareholder agreements, intellectual property, privacy policies, and employee issues. The session will include an interactive panel in which featured social enterprises will share practical lessons about real-life legal issues encountered.

Moderator: Jonathan Ng, Attorney Advisor, USAID for Power Africa

Panelists: Cynthia Koenig, CEO, Wello; Barb Krause, Senior Corporate Counsel, Singularity University

Part Two: Impact InvestingBack to top

The second part of the course will deep dive into the social finance space, bringing the legal perspective to topics including impact investment fund structures, different funding models for social enterprises, and crowdfunding.

2.45 - 3.15 | Introduction to Social Investment
A market overview of the social investment space in the U.S. covering the history of social finance in the U.S., facts and figures on the size of the market, review of the "big players", and identification of key gaps and challenges to move the market forward.

Speaker: Erika Karp, Founder & CEO, Cornerstone Capital Inc.

3.15 - 4.00 | Social Enterprise Funding Models
A broad look at the funding models available to social enterprises in the U.S., including social impact bonds and an in-depth analysis of law and regulation relating to crowdfunding.

Speaker: John Katovich, Founder, Cutting Edge Counsel; Jennifer Walske, Visiting Fellow, Blum Center for Developing Economies, UC Berkeley

4.00 - 4.15 | Networking Break

4.15 - 5.30 | Lecture + Panel: Impact Investment Funds
Key fund managers and financial intermediaries analyze the types of legal structures used for social investment funds, discuss gaps in the market and explore future perspectives on the space.

Moderator: R. Todd Johnson, Partner, Jones Day

Speakers: Will Fitzpatrick, General Counsel, Omidyar Network; Victoria Fram, Managing Director, VilCap Investments, LLC; Alycia Kellman, Chief Counsel & Head of Debt Funds, SunFunder; Mark Perutz, Partner, DBL Partners

5.30 - 6.30 | Workshop: Structuring an Impact Investment


6.00 - 7.00 | Cocktails

7.00 - 7.30 | Global Developments in Social Enterprise and Impact Investing
Lively conversation with social innovators that will provide insight into the different approaches taken to support social enterprise and impact investing around the world.

A Rohingya child sleeps at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Displaced Syrian children look out from their tents at Kelbit refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, in ...
Couples kiss at the end of a mass led by Pope Francis at the O'Higgins Park in Santiago
Clouds cover Mayon volcano as it spews ash during another mild eruption in Legazpi City, Philippines