How do you get from idea to state law?

In following the journey of California’s AB 361 and the number of other bills across various states that would create (or have created) a new corporate form called a benefit corporation—learning the impetus for the legislation is often as interesting as

photo: votesmart.org

photo: votesmart.org

understanding the process.

And the story of California’s AB 361 is particularly interesting. You can watch California State Assemblymember for the 6th Assembly District Jared Huffman talk about the crowdsourcing origin of AB 361 and other key points of the bill below.

Assemblymember Huffman is the sponsor for AB 361, which was recently voted through the California State Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions and also successfully passed through the State Judiciary Committee.

California Benefit Corporation Law, From a Legal Lens

How can new entrepreneurs, founders, social enterprises be ready for benefit corporation legislation? Why might new businesses opt to incorporate as a benefit corporation? What makes benefit corporation compelling—from a legal standpoint?

Meet Donald Simon, Attorney and Co-Author of AB 361

These are a few of the questions we asked Donald Simon, Attorney and Partner at Wendel Rosen Black & Dean and Co-Chair of the Legal Working Group. Simon is an environmental activist-turned attorney who has remained steadfast in his passion for conservation causes —having founded two 2 environmental non-profit organizations. He has been a lead attorney in drafting and advocating for AB 361.

We caught up with him after the California State Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on California’s benefit corporation legislation, AB 361.

Watch the Interview

Meet the Founder Institute

I have attended two workshops hosted by the Founder Institute–a kind of accelerated startup MBA program for promising entrepreneurs–both hosted by the Institute’s Founder Adeo Ressi. From the talks I walked away feeling the passion, energy, and vision that Ressi and his team have for new entrepreneurs and budding startups.

Meet Adeo

I had a chance to catch up with Adeo after his talk on Startup Legal Q&A for Silicon Valley. Watch the quick video below to hear him outline the concept of the Founder Institute, his vision for its reach, and what inspired him to launch this initiative.

In the realm of social innovation I can’t help but think that innovation comes first—without innovation or entrepreneurial spirit there may be little with which to balance social or environmental values.

You can find out much more about the Founder Institute, the CEO mentors, the schedule of course offerings, and the application process on the Founder Institute website.

Watch the Interview

 

What is a “Compromise Trap”?

What do you call it when you have to find middle ground between your internal compass or set of values and demands of a workplace, academic environment, or an entrepreneurial venture—how about a “compromise trap”? The term describes a pretty familiar scenario for many at some point in their careers–and it is the title of Elizabeth Doty’s new book.

Meet Elizabeth Doty

Elizabeth DotyWith credentials from Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard, Doty approaches this issue with over 3 decades of experience with large organizations including serving as a management consultant to companies such as Intuit and Hewlitt-Packard.

Elizabeth led a lively discussion during an event organized by Net Impact San Fransisco on May 24, 2011. I caught up with her afterwards to see if she could explain the concept of a “compromise trap” and what she learned through research & writing her book.So here it is—a peek into The Compromise Trap in author Elizabeth Doty’s own words….

Watch the Interview

You may have heard of a for-profit corp and a non-profit corporation…but there’s a good chance you haven’t met B yet.

A B corporation is one that integrates business objectives with social standards and sustainability considerations.
B corporation certification requires meeting specific criteria with regards to:
  • transparency
  • social & environmental performance
  • enhanced legal accountability
  • documentation & business practices
It’s a fascinating and innovative approach to addressing the challenge of marrying social considerations with the inherent duty of a business corporation to create profit for its shareholders.But don’t take my word for it…you can learn more about what a B corp is in their intro video:

Read on: