The Social Enterprise & Startup Law Group (SE-SL) is a student-run organization focused on social innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital, and the lawyer’s role in these spaces. SE-SL coordinates educational events, career panels, and networking opportunities for NYU Law students. The Group also partners with organizations outside the law school to provide pro bono legal services to entrepreneurs, allowing SE-SL members to gain valuable lawyering experience. SE-SL has recently worked with the Ashoka Foundation, Rising Tide Capital, and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
The Social Enterprise Alliance defines social entrepreneurship as using “the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance their social, environmental and human justice agendas.” Social enterprise is a sector of entrepreneurship at large with an abiding commitment to effect social change.
For years, social entrepreneurs have been rethinking the way we address the world’s most entrenched social problems, such as poverty, the achievement gap, barriers to health care, and the absence of rule of law. Their successes have captured the attention of activists and policy-makers worldwide, and the movement is now well positioned to significantly realign the entire social sector.
By helping inform new laws and regulatory schemes related to non-profit organizations and impact investors, and by providing specialized, strategic advice on how to best finance and implement these innovative, entrepreneurial solutions, lawyers can play a critical role in effecting systemic change. Social entrepreneurs stand to benefit greatly from the powerful tools lawyers can provide them.
The market for new Internet and mobile technology ventures is thriving, and New York City is widely considered the fastest growing tech hub in the country, serving as home to many of today’s most innovative and successful companies and investors.
Lawyers have helped advance the U.S. entrepreneurship space by designing and promoting favorable policy and providing strategic guidance to founders and investors, helping companies to attract capital and talent, and to grow sustainably.