Impact Esq Vol. 6

I hope you are enjoying your summer weekend. It’s the second Saturday of the month, so it’s time for another Impact Esq. It was great to connect with many of you at both the Good Capital Project Launch and the Launch of the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship over the last month. I’m encouraged by the generous and collaborative spirit that is so prevalent among this group of impact attorneys. Y’all are great!

Social Enterprise

  • New Book. Head of Legal Policy at B Lab and a member of the Impact Esq community, Rick Alexander is launching a book titled Benefit Corporation Law and Governance. In it he describes the stranglehold that shareholder primacy has on our current legal and financial systems. He then provides a comprehensive description of the alternative. Benefit corporations expand corporate purpose and extend the obligations of corporate managers to include the interests of all stakeholders. Alexander describes the two existing benefit corporation models and details how current relations are transformed when organizations adopt stakeholder governance. He also looks at some unsuccessful precursors to benefit corporations and why they failed. The book is an invaluable guide for legal and financial professionals, as well as interested entrepreneurs and investors who want to understand how purposeful corporate governance can be put into practice.Pre-order your copy now!

  • Mission Preservation. If the success of the enterprise relies on the strength of the company’s commitment to a cause or to successful integration of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) principals, how can you ensure that the company stays on track? Susan Mac Cormac notes, a carefully structured convertible note can increase the commitment to and discourage a deviation away from the company’s mission. Done properly, this can also help stimulate co-investment into the company and ensure its future success. For instance, one way to avoid a “mission creep,” or a deviation beyond the company’s original goals, the inclusion of a clause that allows for an automatic increase in interest rate or a demand for immediate repayment can further protect your mission. Learn more mission protective provisions at Mofo Impact (7 minutes).

Impact Investing

  • Bridges Closes Largest Fund to Date. Bridges Fund Management (“Bridges”), the specialist sustainable and impact investor, announces the final close of Bridges Property Alternatives Fund IV (“Fund IV”) with commitments of £220m. The Bridges Property Funds invest in property or property-backed businesses that are helping to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges – for example by helping to regenerate underserved areas, finding better care solutions for our aging population, or reducing carbon emissions from existing building stock. Fund IV will continue Bridges’ proven investment strategy of investing in emerging locations and niche sectors affected by changing demographics and/or consumer needs – like healthcare, education, SME business space and affordable residential accommodation – and then adding value through environmental refurbishment and operational improvement. This focus has allowed Bridges to deliver powerful societal impact and strong financial returns across all three of its previous specialist property funds. Learn more at Bridges (4 minutes).

  • Impact Investing Network Map. Case Foundation, working with partners across a broad spectrum of the impact investing ecosystem, built an Impact Investing Network Map—a tool they hope will help answer these questions over the coming years. Who are the industry investors and companies? How are they defining the impact they were trying to have? What sectors have been most robust? Are certain regions or markets emerging to reflect most of the deal flow? What is the stage or scope of investments? Ultimately, they want to be able to look at field-wide patterns to show current and prospective investors where the activity has been by investor, geography, investment round, impact objective, and so on. Learn more at Stanford Social Innovation Review (8 minutes).

Jobs

  • Boston. Klavens Law Group is a unique, mission-driven law firm based in Boston focused on clean energy, social enterprise and impact investment. They are seeking an additional senior corporate lawyer to join its collegial team. Learn more at Klavens.

About Impact Esq

Impact Esq is a monthly email summarizing the best articles on social enterprise and impact investing law edited by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose, Managing Partner of Westaway and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Thanks for being a member of the Impact Esq community. I truly enjoy curating this email every month and love hearing your thoughtful insights. Feel free to shoot me an email with any feedback or suggestions. If you like what you’re reading, I’d be honored if you share it with other social impact attorneys. Have a restful and thoughtful weekend.