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    10.30.17 Making Social Enterprise Work: Vice Dean Steven Dean and Professor Dana Brakman Reiser Launch New Book
    Making Social Enterprise Work: Vice Dean Steven Dean and Professor Dana Brakman Reiser Launch New Book

    Can a company do well while doing good? Can an investor make solid returns while making a difference? Vice Dean Steven Dean and Professor Dana Brakman Reiser say the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” and outline how to make that happen in their new book Social Enterprise Law: Trust, Public Benefit and Capital Markets.

    “We want to help social entrepreneurs find the capital they need to pursue their dual enterprises: financial gain and social good. Law and lawyers can be the heroes in that scenario,” Brakman Reiser said at the book launch event on Oct. 25 at the Law School.

    She acknowledged that this may be a surprising position. Entrepreneurs and investors often see lawyers as the ones saying no. But the authors argue that the transactional law toolbox is the best place to start to help social entrepreneurs and investors find each other.

    The process isn’t easy. David Porzio ’06 is COO and cofounder of Translator, a company that uses innovative new technology to help make diversity and inclusion initiatives at companies of all sizes more empathetic and effective. Speaking at the book launch, Porzio said capitalization has been one of the company’s greatest challenges.

    “My existing contacts from being an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley didn’t work,” he said. “We found people that we thought aligned with our values and who recognized our scalability, but it was tough.”

    On the other side of the coin, Ben Rader, general counsel at the Goldman Sachs Foundation, explained what his organization looks for in a social impact investment.

    “Metrics come first,” he said. “Companies should be able to show that they are making actual impact.”

    Social Enterprise, which ranked as a No. 1 new release in both the business and corporate law categories on Amazon, presents legal technologies that Brakman Reiser and Dean believe can help social enterprises reach their full potential. These include innovative financial instruments, novel tax regimes, and detailed exit plans.

    “A big part of the book is getting investors and entrepreneurs to understand each other,” said Dean.

    The book launch coincided with the publication of a Bloomberg BNA op-ed by Brakman Reiser and Dean on whether Uber should become a public benefit corporation,.

    Read the op-ed here:
    Should Uber Become a Public Benefit Corporation?

    Watch the Book Launch event.