Forming a new business can be daunting, and social entrepreneurs often face additional challenges related to their unique mission. That’s why Jessica Manganello and Shannon Jamieson established New Leaf Legal, a dynamic law firm in Cambridge, Mass., committed to educating and empowering their social enterprise clients. The team helps determine the most appropriate legal structure for emerging businesses, enabling clients to effectively implement their social benefit missions.
Each attorney brings particular knowledge and expertise to the table. Jessica’s primary focus is business structuring, including internal organization, filing, maintenance and selling. She is considered one of the Boston area’s legal experts on the L3C (low-profit, limited liability company) structure, an increasingly popular option for social purpose organizations. Shannon focuses on intellectual property issues such as copyright and trademarks, including acquiring, selling and licensing. She also assists clients interested in setting up nonprofit organizations.
Both women are passionate about advancing the field of social purpose business and helping entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. Part 1 of our discussion includes an overview of New Leaf’s philosophy and services, and Jessica sheds light on the L3C and B Corp structures. Watch for Part 2, covering nonprofits and intellectual property, in the weeks ahead.
The concept of sustainability is often discussed in terms of positive impacts to people and the environment — which is all well and good, but can be a bit dry. A new shop called Twelve Chairs, in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston’s Innovation District, is helping people discover the beauty in sustainability.
Founders Roisin Giese and Miggy Mason, graduates of the interior design program at Cornell, have created a warm and comfortable display space in a soaring old industrial loft building. The furniture and accessories are all sourced from vendors and artisans who meet Twelve Chairs’ requirements for sustainability and social responsibility. The “People & Planet Principles” are grouped into four categories: local, healthy, conserving and responsible. This allows the shop owners — and their many satisfied clients — to be sure they’re getting interior furnishings that won’t adversely impact the world.
In addition, Twelve Chairs offers sustainable interior design services, a growing field that the women both discovered and embraced during their studies at Cornell. An online store is currently in development.
Giese and Mason also practice what they preach. They have sought out socially responsible business service providers such as banks and insurance companies. They are also preparing to apply for the new B Corp business designation.