Business

Legislative changes encourage investment in social capital

Regulations allowing the creation of a new corporate structure, designed to bridge the gap between for-profit businesses and non-profit enterprises, received B.C. government approval this week.

The regulations, approved by order-in-council Wednesday, allow for the incorporation of Community Contribution Companies (CCCs), a hybrid business model aimed at encouraging private investment in B.C's social enterprise sector.

One Comox Valley resident has been keenly awaiting approval of this legislation. Sandra Hamilton is a BC Partner for Social Impact and a leading Social Enterprise Business Consultant.

"I am passionate about creating business solutions for social good," she said. "The CCC structure provides a new tool for community development and for addressing social challenges."

Hamilton, whose consulting clients have included VANOC CEO John Furlong and Olympic rower Silken Laumann, left the corporate world last year to focus on social innovation strategies and generating new revenue streams for non-profit organizations.

CCCs, which are based on a similar model adopted in the United Kingdom, will be able to accept equity investment money, issue shares and pay shareholder dividends — options that are not available to non-profits. Unlike typical for-profit companies, CCCs will have a limited ability to pay dividends. However, they will be able to assure potential investors that a portion of the company's profits will be used for social purposes.

For more information about CCC's or a March 18 Social Enterprise Workshop, being presented by Enterprising Non Profits in the Comox Valley, visit www.SandraHamilton.ca.

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