Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Structure Labs on hybrid ventures

I've written a lot about hybrid organizational forms for social change - from L3Cs to B Corporations to social enterprises. I want to draw your attention to a series of workshops for entrepreneurs and others thinking about these forms.

Here's the blurb from Criterion Ventures, which is leading these workshops (Structure Labs):

"New corporate forms are blurring the boundaries between for profits and nonprofits. Entrepreneurs and established organizations alike are bending the marketplace to meet multiple bottom lines including a return on social capital. While some nimbly explore the space between for profit and nonprofit, many more are struggling to make sense of the new landscape of social change.

... As the world of social enterprise matures, Criterion is helping to create the methodology that can make it more accessible. Criterion has spent the past year creating an easy to engage process to understand how new forms are structured and how they might work to support the efforts of social change agents."

The Packard Foundation is funding the work behind these workshops. They will be held in San Francisco (Nov 4, Nov 5), Minneapolis (Nov 12) and New York City (Nov 19). You can register for them here.

These new enterprise forms - and the possibilities they represent for drawing more and different capital to social good production, as well as the new regulatory and policy implications they raise - are key to understanding how the social sector is moving forward. I'm glad to see a major foundation providing support for this, and of having a firm like Criterion - and several law firm partners - put on these workshops.

*In keeping with FTC regulations on public disclosure, I am not affiliated with Criterion Ventures, though I am familiar with their work. My firm has worked with The Packard Foundation. I would attend one of these sessions if my calendar permitted. I was not materially compensated for this post.

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