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TrustLaw Training: Social Enterprise and Impact Investing

Updated: Mon, 19 Jan 2015

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

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On May 18-19 2015, the team behind TrustLaw ran a two-day accredited legal training course on social innovation.

This course is designed to provide practical training for lawyers on two key areas, social enterprise and impact investing, helping lawyers understand the important issues that affect the different agents in the sector and the role they can play in shaping it.

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 should be able to:

  • Advise on the appropriate business structure for different social enterprises
  • 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 and impact investment funds
  • Understand how to negotiate the competing interests of investors, social enterprises and social finance intermediaries

Course DetailsBack to top

May 18 and 19, 2015
9.00am – 6.00pm

Thomson Reuters Building
3 Times Square,
New York, NY 10036

The full two-day course will cost $800. Participants can join for one day for $500. Breakfast, lunch, drinks reception included in the price.

The cost of the course goes to support the work of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono service, TrustLaw, whose mission is to spread the practice of pro bono worldwide.

This course has been approved for up to 15 CLE credits in New York and New Jersey and 13 credits in California, including 1 ethics credit. Credits issued will be based upon verified attendance and applicable rules.

Space is strictly limited.
Secure your spot at:

DAY ONE: Social EnterpriseBack to top

18 May - The first day of the course is designed to provide participants with a big picture market overview of the social enterprise space in the United States.

9.30- 10.30  Social Enterprise 101: The Big Picture

A market overview of the social enterprise sector in the U.S. including definitions (or lack thereof) of social enterprise, history, key terminology and key debates.

SPEAKER: Jonathan Ng, Ashoka

10.30 - 10.45 Break

10.45 - 12.15 Structuring Social Enterprises - Lecture & Panel

This 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

MODERATOR: Cynthia Weiss, Latham & Watkins

SPEAKERS: Susan Mac Cormac, Morrison & Foerster; William Clark, Drinker, Biddle & Reath; Allen Bromberger, Perlman & Perlman

12.15 - 1.15 Lunch

1.15 - 2.45 Structuring Social Enterprises - Workshop

Interactive workshop where participants will practice advising social entrepreneurs on the right structure for them.

2.45 - 3.00 Break

3.00 - 4.45 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, featuring social entrepreneurs from around the U.S.

MODERATOR: Chloe Holderness, Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation

SPEAKERS: Benjamin Stone, MCE Social Capital; Maxwell Fine, MPOWERD; Daniel MacCombie, Runa

4.45 – 5.00 Break

5.00 – 6.00 Governance Challenges in Social Entrepreneurship

Overview of social enterprise governance and its unique aspects, including best practices, how to handle conflicts of interest and disputes, and the role of lawyers in advising boards and other stakeholders on corporate governance.

SPEAKER: Jill Manny, National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, NYU School of Law and Tomer Inbar, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler

DAY TWO: Impact InvestingBack to top

19 May - The second day 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 social impact bonds.

9.00 - 10.00 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: Susan Mac Cormac, Morrison & Foerster

10.00 - 10.15 Break

10.15 - 11.15 Social Enterprise Funding Models

A broad look at the funding models available to social enterprises, including:

  • Debt/equity investments from investors
  • Donor funding
  • Crowdfunding
  • Capital markets instruments

SPEAKER: Nell Derick Debevoise, Inspiring Capital

11.15 - 11.30 Break

11.30 - 12.45 Impact Investment Funds - Lecture & Panel

A panel discussion with fund managers discussing how they structured their funds, covering:

  • Different types of legal structures for social impact funds
  • Where gaps in the market exist
  • Future perspective on the space

MODERATOR: Prof. Deborah Burand, University of Michigan Law School

SPEAKERS: Brian Trelstad, Bridges Ventures; Elizabeth Luckett, The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund; Christine Looney, Ford Foundation.

12.45 - 1.45 Lunch 

1.45 – 3.00 Impact Investment Funds - Workshop

Interactive workshop where participants will practice advising on how to lock the social purpose into documents and on how to strike the right balance between social and financial returns.

3.00 – 3.15 Break

3.15 - 4.15 Social Impact Bonds

A review of social impact bonds, including definitions, structure, case studies from the U.S. and global perspectives.

SPEAKERS: Margaret Moore, Goldman Sachs; John Grossman, Third Sector Capital

4.15 – 5.00 Break & Social Enterprise Expo

5.00 – 6.00 Global Perspectives on Social Enterprise & Impact Investing - Panel

A panel discussion that will provide insight into the different approaches taken to support social entrepreneurship and impact investing around the world, focused on the best ways to encourage growth in the sector. This panel is open to the public - RSVP here.

MODERATOR: Nicholas Glicher, Thomson Reuters Foundation

SPEAKERS: Genet Berhane, Acumen Fund; Robert Esposito, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Impact Investing Legal Working Group; Jérôme Tagger, Global Impact Investing Network

6.00 - 7.30 Drinks Reception


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