Legal and regulatory frameworks for social entrepreneurs | Law

Legal and regulatory frameworks for social entrepreneurs

Legal and regulatory frameworks for social entrepreneurs

UNSW Law researchers have been helping shape the legal and regulatory environment for ‘new economy’ innovations with a social and ecological focus.

Professor Bronwen Morgan’s Future Fellowship team who worked on the project ‘ Between Social Activism and Social Enterprise’ from 2012-2016. The Australian research has had a comparative dimension based in Bristol, UK. The team have been involved in ongoing debates about whether Australia should introduce hybrid legal models for companies that make it possible to blend aspects of for-profit and not-for-profit legal forms have appeared in many other countries.  UNSW Law collaborated with the Social Enterprise Legal Models Working Group, producing a policy report, templates to assist in choice of legal models and a webinar. A related workstream has now been established in the Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation to continue this work. It will also incorporate the related work of Marina Nehme and Fiona Martin who have shaped the legal and regulatory environment for crowdfunding, indigenous corporations and charities through research, policy dialogue and government submissions.

The project stimulated debate about the gap in affordable legal professional advice for budding social entrepreneurs in Australia, launching the report  Where are the Community Enterprise Lawyers? and working with the  Australian Earth Laws Alliance to create the  New Economy Network for Australia (NENA). The project has also made sector-specific contributions to the growing community energy sector in Australia.  Declan Kuch worked with  Pingala Cooperative to finance solar panels on the rooftop of an inner Sydney craft brewery.   Jarra Hicks’ PhD research (2014-2017) is documenting the role of legal structures, economic practices and community engagement in Australian and Scottish community energy projects.