When recommending a business formation type, advisors typically take into account taxation, legal liability, and record keeping requirements as they relate to the particular circumstances of the would-be business owner. Missing from many advisors’ conversations is a fourth element – the business owner’s ethics and how they are expressed through the business model and operations. There is a strong case to be made for advisors to have a working knowledge of social purpose entities (SPEs) such as B and social purpose corporations, and low-profit, limited liability companies (LC3s). Worker cooperatives also fit into this SPE category, though this formation differs from the others in a number of ways.
Most business advisors tend to zero in on limited liability companies, and rarely if ever mention SPEs as alternatives. While LLCs have risen quickly in popularity, the most common formation is still sole proprietorship. There are practical reasons for keeping it simple. Many start-ups will not survive beyond year 3 or 4. The business model and ownership of any given venture may shift significantly within the first 5 years.
B-Corps, SPCs, and LC3s are options for business owners who strive to build organizations that emphasize the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. By allowing SPE designations, states are validating the right of business entities to place their social missions on par with the responsibility to deliver shareholder value. Owners of these firms believe that doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive. They are attempting to take to the discussion of “corporate social responsibility” beyond the theoretical, feel-good practices of large corporations.
There is no doubt, however, that SPEs are part of an increasingly complex and evolving landscape of legal, accounting, regulatory, and ethical issues affecting business and the kinds of businesses entrepreneurs are choosing to form. They are approved in one form or another in almost all 50 states. Twenty-nine states have statutes that allow B-Corps, social purpose or flexible purpose (California only) corporation. L3Cs, first formed in Vermont have now spread to 10 states. Illinois now has a Benefit LLC, the only such hybrid in the country. Legislation is pending in other states. The process of becoming a certified B corporation, which requires meeting certain performance and legal requirements, is a governed by a non-profit organization, B Labs. More can be learned about this certification process by viewing a two-part webinar, “The Path to B Corp Certification", which can be found on YouTube. Below is part 1.
While worker cooperatives are well established in Europe, they have been receiving considerable attention of late in the US, in part because of the film Shift Change. In most respects, worker cooperatives operate like any other business. These firms may hire a professional management staff, but the major decisions about what the company produces and how are made by the member-owners on the basis of one person, one share, one vote. In addition to being profitable, worker cooperatives promote the economic welfare of all workers as a core value. The Democracy at Work institute, formed by the Federation of Cooperatives, provides a wealth of information about this formation type.
SPEs are not a panacea, but they do force business owners to think about their value proposition and zero in on an actual need or problem in the market. While they may be more complex than standard LLCs, they may also become good alternatives to non-profit formations, which can be very complicated and time-consuming to set up. Whether or not these entities can deliver on their lofty goals in significant numbers remains to be seen, but they deserve advisors’ attention. There is a niche for advisors who are willing to help entrepreneurs incorporate social missions into their business models. A working knowledge of these formation types is a tool that advisors should have in their toolboxes.
Posted By Leah Deppert,
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Have you registered yet for our #NACCE2015 preconferences? These solution-oriented professional development workshops were co-created with our members. Roll up your sleeves, participate in best practice dialogues and work on action plans with a community working on the same issues on their campus. Leave ready to implement with a new found community within the NACCE Nation. Register for them today!
Launch Startups, Generate Revenue and Support Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners with the E-seed Entrepreneurship Training Series:
In this interactive, how-to session with Amy Pietsch, Director at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) Venture Center, you will learn how to use the E-seed™ Entrepreneur Training Series to drive economic development in your service area, via entrepreneur and small business startups and expansions, while generating revenue for your program. FVTC launched this program in 2000 and it has resulted in hundreds of business launches, millions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs created!
Supersize Your External Partner Relationship Skills: How do you map your community partners, determine who to collaborate with and then get them to partner? John Liddy, Director at Student Sandbox, will provide process and tools that can be applied at any college campus.
How to Help Businesses After They Launch: Putting Plans Into Action: There is an art to creating businesses and growing entrepreneurs. Many times business coaches concentrate only on the business and not the entrepreneur. Tim Mittan, Associate Director at the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network,will show attendees the main focus for success in most businesses is the development of the entrepreneur as a person along with the business. Listen to our webinar with Tim for a sneak peak here!
How to Open an Incubator on Your Campus and Maximize Revenue: Community colleges are interested in expanding their entrepreneurial services. Incubators and co-working spaces attract different community members to campus. Susie Pulido, VP of Business Development at Maricopa Corporate College, will help attendees understand what is required to launch and grow a successful incubator.
Effectuation 2.0 - An Application Based Experiential Learning Day:
Christine Mollenkopf-Pigsley, Small Business Consultant,& Sara Whiffen, Principal at Insights Ignited, will provide a review of effectuation and how to apply it to common challenges on campus such as student success, completion and enrollment management. The bulk of the time spent with attendees will be facilitating solutions for those problems.
How to Create a Space for Entrepreneurship: Maker spaces and FabLabs: Maker Spaces and Fab Labs are creative spaces for makers, tinkerers and entrepreneurs. They are used by the community for a range of activities from knitting, to fabricating to prototypes. Community colleges are opening these spaces to spark imagination and innovation at their institutions. A panel of veterans (Greg Herker, Jim Janisse, David Richardson, Susan Thompson, Matthew Wade)will share the planning framework and best practices for implementing a maker space or fab lab. Attendees will acquire the understanding and resources to successfully launch a creative space while becoming part of a community of practice when they return to campus.
Please note: If you have already registered for the conference and you would like to add a preconference, please call the office at 413-306-3131 x302 to update your registration.
Posted By Steven Groner,
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Born out of natural curiosity last year, Kaskaskia College undertook a faculty and staff survey just to see who had entrepreneurial experiences in their lives. We uncovered a small but exciting number of resources right in our midst. This year, we circled back and interviewed a number of them in more detail, to better determine how and when to use their knowledge. Of course the closing question in each interview was "will you continue to help us"? Our long term goal is to have a number of mentors ready for action.
Because the ASK has been in person and conversational we are better able to judge enthusiasm and commitment... important qualities of co-creators. Further, with the personal connections made, the door is open to asking for additional help in the future. We also better understand the interests of each person and what resources they bring into co-creation. With regard to faculty, several NEW prospects emerged for a cross campus/cross college team to be formed this Fall.
The initial survey served a really useful purpose in the identification of prospects for follow up. What we have learned throughout our effectuation journey is that the personal one-on-one talks are the most productive. Larger group settings are fine for setting the stage and for introducing the principles of effectuation, but not much more. The one-on-one ASK draws out commitments and co-creators.
Posted By Leah Deppert,
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Updated: Friday, July 31, 2015
What words come to your mind when you hear your campus' name? When students chat to their peers about their school, what images are conjured up in their heads? Your college's brand and reputation are of utmost importance to the success of your institution. Take a moment to read through these four creative ways to build your college's brand:
Make people laugh.Take a moment and think of a recent funny story or commercial that you have seen or heard. Creating marketing that makes people laugh will make your campus memorable, fun and inspiring. Read this article fortips on infusing humorinto your higher education marketing.
Upend customer expectations. Have you tried integrating competitions, awards or exclusive information into your marketing strategy? Students love to receive free promotional items and be "in the know" before everyone else.
Create high profile collaborations. Does your campus have influential, famous or prosperous alumni? Reach out to these folks to feature them as success stories and generate buzz about your college.
Seek advice about branding from individuals in different industries from your own. When you open yourselfup to new opportunities and ways of thinking, your creative juices will start to flow!
Do you notice a common theme in all of these links? Are you ready for an exciting conference sneak peek? We are so thrilled to announce that Johnny Earle, owner ofJohnny Cupcakes, is keynoting at #NACCE2015! Register by July 31st to receive oursuper early bird savings--you don't want to miss this!
A:The pre-conference sessions solidified my first NACCE mentors and we still collaborate today.
Q: How about the general assembly speeches and break out sessions?
A: The general assemblies and speakers are so inspiring and the networking and break-out sessions were full of ideas, best practices and priceless advice about what works and doesn't work! I've learned from other presenters, formed friendships and alliances with other colleges, and continue to share ideas and best practices throughout the year.
Q: Your President, Dr. Zachary Hodges, signed the PFEP and has attended the conference in the past. How has this affected your campus?
A: Thanks to the PFEP, Dr. Zachary Hodges and Dr. Maya Durnovo, our entrepreneurial initiatives have grown phenomenally at HCC! I am now one of 25 plus staff and grant-funded persons dedicated to entrepreneurship, with Chancellor Maldonado and Dr. Butch Herod leading the charge to spread an entrepreneurial culture across the HCC system. The future holds our best, which is yet to come!
Q: Anything else you'd like to share?
A: It may take a year or two to gain some traction, but keep with it and the ripple effect set in motion by you and others at your college can be astounding! Also, welcome to Houston this October!
Thank you to Sandra for this interview! We appreciate you and can't wait to see you in Houston!
On April 20th, NACCE held a Presidents' breakfast at AACC's National Conference to discuss with our members how we can help you with the following issues:
Retention and Completion
Budget and Revenue
Below are the ideas that they came up with. What would you like to add? Tell us in the comments!
NACCE can help our college increase ENROLLMENT by:
Making Connections: between members, institutions and thought leaders in higher education and entrepreneurship. What are the best practices nationally? How are colleges attracting international students? What member with a similar school and region is increasing enrollment?
Story-Telling: helping colleges to tell their campus success stories and how entrepreneurship plays a vital role.
Sharing and Teaching Best Practices to Increase Enrollment: educating members on how to create a start-up incubator, how to create a middle and high school summer institute, how to partner with co-working spaces, how to share a maker space, how to host a shark tank competition, how to grow your talent, connecting to industry.
NACCE can help our BUDGET & REVENUE by:
Providing Messaging on Entrepreneurship: create messages for grant writers on the impact of entrepreneurship on campus and as part of a larger economic development strategy.
Creating Leadership Training: empower & educate campus leaders on fostering an innovative culture.
Curate Best Practices on Financial Models: how to cut programs that are losing money, how to ask for large donations, and how to generate alternate forms of revenue, etc.
NACCE can help our RETENTION & COMPLETION by:
Fostering the Entrepreneurial Mindset: it's a crucial component of student success!
Demonstrating Examples of Successful Community Partnerships: providing resources on engaging your small business development centers, best practices in engaging industry in work-based learning.
Engage High Schools: Showcase best practices in aligning with high schools.
Posted By Leah Deppert,
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
As a community of practice, we love sharing best practices around NACCE. Last year, we learned a best practice from some of our conference attendees...bring your community with you to conference!
We had many colleges that chose to bring 2+ folks to the conference and below is a short interview with NACCE member, Jeanne Wesley, Vice President of Workforce and Community Relations at Germanna Community Collegeabout how it was helpful to bring her tribe to the NACCE conference last year.
Q: Jeanne, in your opinion, what were the added benefits of coming to the NACCE conference as a team opposed to by yourself?
A: Bringing colleagues to the NACCE conference provides a tremendous opportunity for team building. The sessions are informative and promote discussion of real-time issues faced by colleges serving the entrepreneur community. Networking with others at various stages of their progress helps to chart a successful local path. With a college team on site, there is instant discussion, planning, and creative problem solving that is far superior to any dreary planning retreat.
Q: Why would you encourage others to also come as a team?
A: I would encourage other to come as team because of the fellowship, team building, and abundant tools that result in fired-up, ready to move forward staff. Staff members leave "entrepreneur ready"!
Q: Do you think you and your team member were able to enact your action plan on campus in a more effective and fruitful way since there were two of you? Why or why not?
A: By bringing another team member, the learning curve for developing and implementing innovative ideas was greatly reduced.
A special thank you to Jeanne for this interview! We appreciate you!
P.S. Remember those registering groups of 4 or more are eligible for special discounts! (First registration at full price, each subsequent registrant is discounted 25%. Registration must be completed via phone at 413-306-3131.)
Getting into the final stretch of our second Coleman Foundation & ECIA year, I would like to share some of the differences between year one and year two. On a recent commute, this summary came to mind:
Year 1 Effectuation Efforts- First I learned the principles and then I taught them
Year 2 Effectuation Efforts- I made big strides in understanding the principles and have become a much better teacher
In Year Two, we still value our checklist and pursue our goals but our mindset is different- we are much more open to the journey and the experiences encountered. As a result, our rewards are larger and our effectual sustainability is more assured.
Sara Whiffen of Insights Ignited helped me to develop professionally and I would like to share some lessons learned & things that really gave our projects better direction:
1. "The future is unknowable but it is creatable" is a concept that draws in co-creators. It enabled us to convince others that we can operate on similar footing to that of famous entrepreneurs.
2. "Begin with where you are" removes the non-productive comparisons and allows progress to get underway. Yes, there are healthy comparisons to be made... just drop the coveting & the envy thoughts.
3. Design answers to "what is in it for me- WIIFM" before every group and listener. This is how to move beyond polite listeners and to attract co-creators. Remember to always ask for involvement.
4. Every interaction is good. It is impossible to predict which ones are going to help you and how they will help... "You are part of my crazy quilt."
5. When strengthening your internal team, get to the point where you can frame discussions by saying "Now we do 'X', in an effectual world we would do ______________."
6. Don't scare entrepreneurs away with information overload. You still want them to jump in and try.
At Kaskaskia College, our president of fourteen years retires at the end of the month- the signer of our PFEP. It will be up to our Institute for Entrepreneurial Success to enthuse and inform our new President Dr. Penny Quinn about NACCE, the Coleman Foundation and our effectuation journey. We are confident about accomplishing our mission!
This week, our President and CEO, Rebecca Corbin, is attending the 2015 Community Colleges of Appalachia Annual Conference. The Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA) is a voluntary association of public community colleges serving the common interests of member colleges and their communities through programs and services responsive to the unique cultural, geographic, and economic development challenges facing the region.
Rebecca is honored to speak on the following topic: “Setting the Stage for Student Success in Rural Colleges with Entrepreneurship”. In this presentation, her guiding questions are:
Why is entrepreneurship important?
What stories offer powerful lessons?
How does "grit" factor into student success?
How can a national organization help you?
Download her slide deck attached to this post and follow her tweets at @RebeccaCorbin7.
Posted By Leah Deppert,
Thursday, June 04, 2015
Updated: Friday, June 05, 2015
We love to share best practices around NACCE. Below are three ideas that we learned from past conference attendees that we thought would be helpful to communicate to our future conference participants:
1. Check to see if you have funds to spend down before your fiscal year ends! Not sure if you have expendable funds? It's worth an ask before your books close for 2015. Click here for a template to ask your department chair and/or manager. Things to include in your request are:
2. Look into thePerkins Funds. Our conference meets the requirements of Perkins IV!
3. Are you a part of a union? You may be able to access professional development funds to cover some of the costs of attending the conference. Speak with your Human Resources Office for more information.
Also, check out this article about how to convince your boss to send you to a conference!