On October 9, 2014, B Corp champion David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Bank, impact investment leader Brad Brown, VP Impact Investment of Cheetah Development, and Kim Lowe, shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron, gave an update to over 100 social enterprise leaders at Minnesota Business Magazine’s State of Social Enterprise event.
David gave an update on the national social enterprise movement and progress, Brad discussed the investing opportunities and hurtles for social enterprise funding in Minnesota and Kim gave an update on the Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Act and the public policy behind the local and national benefit corporation legislation movement.
While the audience focused on the whole of the social enterprise sector from both the nonprofit and for-profit perspectives, from a legal perspective, attention is shifting to how social entrepreneurs can utilize the new benefit corporation corporate legal forms. At this point, 29 states have passed some form of benefit corporation legislation while 13 additional states have legislation pending. With this much legislation, there cannot help but be a shift from national and local education and promotion on the benefit corporation legal form and the Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Act Chapter 304A to assisting social entrepreneurs seed and cultivate the first crop of public benefit corporations national and most importantly here in Minnesota. The Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Act was passed on April 29, 2014, and will become effective on January 1, 2015. That means the first public benefit corporations can be formed as early as January 2, 2015.