Conference registration is now closed and we are no longer accepting new participants. Anyone interested in participating are welcome to attend but please note that we can't guarantee admission.



This year’s conference is focusing on five themes:

•           Policy and regulation of impact investing and social entrepreneurship blending and   scaling capital

•           Building investment-ready social enterprises

•           Embedding impact into deal structures

•           Mainstreaming impact

•           People’s choice (variety of topics reflecting conference participants’ suggestions)

Each theme will be explored in three to four separate panels during the conference.


The Bertha Centre will be offering a new course in Cape Town and Johannesburg on the legal implications of impact investing deals, this July. Don't miss out on this opportunity to access world class, cutting edge information from the frontier of impact investing. 

Upcoming Course

Legal Practice for Impact Investing

In this course, legal practitioners, impact investors, consultants, financial intermediaries and social enterprises will learn what it takes to put together an impact investment deal from setting up an organisation to exiting the investment. This two-day course provides a rare and valuable opportunity to learn from an international expert in the field. Not only does Prof. Deborah Burand teach at one of the foremost law faculties in the world, New York University, but she also has extensive field experience from her time spent in OPIC. The Bertha Centre has partnered with the Grunin Centre, NYU, to be able to equip impact investing professionals to most effectively serve high impact organisations wanting to raise investment. This course will be offered in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. 

Course Duration Cape Town: 16 - 17 July
Course Duration Johannesburg: 19 - 20 July
Course Cost: R7 000


Please direct and send enquiries to:

Application Deadline: 29 June - only six weeks away

Click here to apply.    

   Start Date: 16 July  

        Start Date: 19 July


Course Convenor profile


The course will be facilitated by Prof Deborah Burand who is one of the world's leading impact investment legal professionals. She is currently based at the Grunin Centre at New York University which is the first Social Innovation Centre to be situated in a Law Faculty. Her extended biography can be found here


Mark your calendars! 

March 1, 2018 is the deadline for nominations for the inaugural award of the Grunin Prize

The Grunin Prize has been created to recognize the variety and impact of lawyers’ participation in the ways in which business, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, is increasingly advancing the goals of sustainability and human development.

Lawyers, legal educators, policymakers, in-house counsel, or legal teams that recently have developed innovative, scalable, and social entrepreneurial solutions using existing law, legal education, or the development of new legal structures or metrics are eligible for nomination.  And self-nominations are encouraged! 

The Grunin Prize will be presented on June 5, 2018 at the IILWG/Grunin Center conference.  To learn more about the Grunin Prize and the nomination process, go to

June 5-6, 2018 are the dates of the Impact Investing Legal Working Group (IILWG)/Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship’s 2018 Conference on “Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing – in the US and Beyond.”  This year’s IILWG/Grunin Center’s annual conference will take place at NYU School of Law in New York City. 

The themes of this year’s conference include:

  • Embedding Impact into Deal Structures and Terms
  • Policy and Regulation of Impact Investing and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Blending and Scaling Capital for Impact
  • Building Investment-Ready Social Enterprises
  • Mainstreaming Impact

Last year over 250 lawyers and other stakeholders attended this groundbreaking conference for lawyers working in the fields of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.  In a post-conference survey of these conference attendees, we learned that: 

  • Over 99% of survey respondents rated the conference as “excellent” (over 76%) or “very good” (23%);
  • Over 84% of survey respondents were very likely to recommend attending this conference to others; and
  • Over 64% of survey respondents made 6 or more new connections at this conference.

Come join this growing community of legal practice!

Conference registration is now closed and we are no longer accepting new participants. Anyone interested in participating are welcome to attend but please note that we can't guarantee admission. 

June 7, 2018 is the date of the first Grunin Center Legal Scholars convening.  This convening, which is scheduled to take place immediately after the IILWG/Grunin Center Annual Conference, is intended to advance legal scholarship in the fields of social entrepreneurship and impact investing by bringing together legal scholars who are writing and researchin g in these fields and introducing them to the legal/policy challenges and opportunities that legal practitioners are facing in these fields.

Law school faculty (fulltime and adjunct),  other academic personnel working fulltime in law schools who are engaged in legal scholarship, practitioners who are engaging in legal scholarship, and professors who are teaching law in other schools yet are engaging in legal scholarship are invited to join this convening.

If you are interested in joining this community of legal scholars, please contact the Grunin Center ( and we will send you more information about the June 7, 2018 Legal Scholars convening. 


European Social Enterprise Law Association (ESELA) Annual Conference 2018

Social Impact: Exploring Global Legal Trends

Friday 4 May, Milan

We are excited to announce that registrations are now open for the ESELA 2018 Annual Conference, which will be held on 4 May 2018 in Milan. Please book via this registration page.

The conference, a major conference of lawyers and legal experts working on social impact, will be organised around the theme of “Social Impact: Exploring Global Legal Trends”.

We already have law firm and legal expert delegates confirmed to attend from the US, Latin America and from across different European jurisdictions and will be confirming further details of speakers and sessions in the coming weeks.

The conference, which will include plenary keynote presentations and a number of themed workshops and opportunities for participation, will look at:

  • Legal issues for impact investors in emerging and frontier markets
  • Using law to develop social enterprise ecosystems: lessons from the OECD
  • What Europe and Latin America can learn from each other when it comes to social impact
  • Benefit corporations and recent legislative developments in Europe
  • Growing communities of social impact lawyers around the globe
  • The global rise of a new breed of impactful enterprises
  • Systems change and legal innovations

Why not make a weekend of it and join us for a Saturday morning walking tour of some of the key sights and splendours of Milan, including the Sforza CastleCathedral and Teatro alla Scala, amongst others, followed by lunch and further options for those who wish to continue in the afternoon

Please note that registration is now open but the agenda may change leading up to the event.


Social Innovation Symposium 

Social Intrapreneurship: Transforming Business from Within

February 23, 2018
12:00 PM – 7:00 PM (ET)

The NYU's Social Innovation Symposium is a premier event serving and showcasing New York's commitment to social impact, and brings together ~250 professionals, scholars, and students to explore and share bold ideas addressing how businesses, governments, and organizations can be future-oriented drivers of social innovation. 

This year’s theme, Social Intrapreneurship: Transforming business from within, considers how success in business, from local to transnational and from social enterprise to fortune 500, requires social innovation. This goes far beyond corporate social responsibility departments and requires that organizations create a culture of creativity that unites all teams around both financial and impact goals.  Through a series of panels, workshops, and roundtables, trailblazers will lead discussions on how each functional role in an organization can drive social innovation, how to maximize innovation to add value to business and society, and what this means for individuals looking to make an impact and be competitive in the ever-changing business landscape. 

The event will include a specific panel on how individuals in the legal world contribute to social innovation, through impactful work as a legal service provider to business clients, through internal work as a lawyer within an organization, through work in building appropriate legal framework and policy, through work in corporate governance, and beyond. 

Please find more information about the panel and panelists here, and the full schedule here.  


US Tax Reform Proposals and Potential Implications for Charitable Organizations and Impact Investing

JULY 13, 2017
12: 15 – 1:30 PM (ET)

 This discussion is an extension of the conversation that we started during a lunch table talk at this year’s conference which focused on current US tax reform proposals and what they could mean for charitable organizations and impact investing..  Ruth Madrigal, partner at Steptoe & Johnson, will be facilitating the conversation.

Grunin Conference



This year’s conference is focusing on five themes:

  • Growing the global community of lawyers working in the field of social entrepreneurship and impact investing
  • Planning for market uncertainty when investing in social enterprises or managing social enterprises
  • Aggregating capital for impact investing
  • Creating and documenting new impact investment products
  • Governing impact investment funds and social enterprises

Each theme will be explored in three separate panels during the conference.  

Parts of this program have been approved in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 8.5 credit hours, applied toward the Areas of Professional Practice requirement, and are appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys. Those 14 panels that have been approved for CLE credit hours are indicated with an asterisk (*) in this conference program.