On Thursday, May 7th, CSIL and MIIS welcomed guest speaker Jenny Kassan from Cutting Edge Counsel to come and speak as part of the spring 2015 Colloquium on Commercializing Impact Investment. Jenny spoke about her experience as a legal advisor for social entrepreneurs trying to get start up funding for their businesses in the United States. The central message of her talk was: “How can we keep our money local by investing it locally?” – For those that don’t know anything about the legal side of impact investing especially from the lens of a start up social enterprise trying to raise funds for their business, it can be a tricky space to navigate, as Jenny illuminated throughout her presentation.
For social entrepreneurs that want to get their businesses or nonprofits off the ground, they have to keep in mind not only federal laws that govern fundraising in the U.S. but also individual state laws, all of which have different regulations regarding how you can advertise for a fundraising event up to how much you can actually raise from one event. Jenny walked the colloquium participants through a “Securities Law 101 for the U.S.” talking about what constitutes a security when you are trying to get funds for your business or nonprofit and then dove into DPO’s, or Direct Public Offerings. A DPO “is a term that refers to a public offering of securities by a business or nonprofit to both accredited and non-accredited investors in one or more states. Using a DPO (also known as investment crowdfunding), a business or nonprofit can market and advertise its offering publicly by any means it chooses — through advertising in newspapers and magazines; at public events and private meetings; and on the internet and through social media channels.” Overall, Jenny brought her unique perspective to the colloquium by giving participants a new lens through which they could look into the sector of impact investing and social entrepreneurship.
For more information on Cutting Edge Counsel go to: http://cuttingedgecounsel.com