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Social Enterprise, Corporate Charters and Credit Unions

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Tomorrow’s member will be more socially conscious and civic-minded. Chris Nicholls, a Filene research fellow and law professor at the University of Western Ontario, argues that sustainability of the nonfinancial variety—such as green growth—will offer new challenges and opportunities. The proliferation of new legal forms of business enterprise, especially benefit corporations, are a reflection of the changing business and financial landscape.

Over time, we may expect to see more social enterprises rise, underlining the need for tying a commitment to social benefit into corporate charters.  Taking full advantage of those opportunities will call for heightened and detailed attention to the new legislative environment and concerted effort to build greater public awareness of the well-established social benefit of cooperative finance.