Baker Donelson to Host B Corp Informational Workshop for Social Entrepreneurs


The Baker Donelson Law Firm is hosting a workshop on Monday, July 16th from 5:30 to 7:30pm for all social entrepreneurs interested in learning about the new Benefit Corporation (B Corp) structure. Legal experts from the firm will be explaining, step-by-step, what it means to be a Benefit Corporation and how to become one. In addition, the nationally recognized B Labs nonprofit, the company responsible for developing the Benefit Corporation model, will be in attendance to provide information.

The new B Corp legislation will go into effect on August 1st, 2012. Propeller, Baker Donelson, B Lab, the New Orleans Business Alliance, LifeCity, and Fishman Haygood Law Firm are all working together to help the social entrepreneurs in the community prepare for the legislation and transition into a B Corp. They hope to register at least 14 new B Corps by the 1st to beat out California’s record of 13.

Louisiana has proven a great location for many types of businesses. “The benefit corporation legislation further supports Louisiana’s growing reputation as a great place for entrepreneurs,” said Liza Cowan, VP for Global Philanthropy in Louisiana at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“When we looked around and saw that a large proportion of entrepreneurs in the city had built social and environmental goals into their business model, we thought bringing a legal institution to Louisiana that would allow them to scale, be profitable and stay on mission would be a great message that we want them to make this their home for a long time to come. We also felt it would be a message to socially minded investors that New Orleans is the right place for them to put their money,” said Rodrick Miller, CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “We’re excited to see the social enterprise movement taking off in New Orleans.”

The workshop agenda is available online and more information can be found here. There will be a panel discussion about Benefit Corporations featuring:

  • Melissa Ehlinger – New Orleans Business Alliance
  • Erik Trojan – B Labs
  • Andrea Chen – Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation
  • Liz Shephard – LifeCity
  • Tippy Tippens – Matter L3C

According to the New Orleans Business Alliance, a B Corp is, “a new class of corporation that allows a corporation to consider society and the environment as a whole while creating a business with higher standards of accountability and transparency.  The Louisiana legislature passed legislation that will allow businesses to incorporate as Benefit Corporations beginning August 1.  Louisiana became the 8th state in the nation, and the first in the Deep South, to have passed such a law.” More information can be found at