What happens when technology can do great things for humanity, but doesn't make a lot of money? Jim Fruchterman explores the social entrepreneurship side of technology applications: how to get great tech tools to the people who often need them the most, but are least able to afford them!
One of our hottest human rights projects is our work in Guatemala, helping with the huge secret police archive that is being analyzed there. National Public Radio's Morning Edition had a great story on the topic this morning, and Benetech's very own Patrick Ball was quoted talking about this as the largest secret police archive ever made available to the human rights process.
Allen Bromberger does some great pro bono work for the field by answering questions on the npEnterprise list, which is the official list of the Social Enterprise Alliance (where I am proudly a founding board member and am in my last term).
After the question of where to find capital, the question of structure is the next most frequently asked question posed to me by aspiring social entrepreneurs. The question is not an easy one to answer, and involves both legal/tax and style/moral aspects. Allen does a fine job of covering the legal/tax angle and references at the end of his post a good paper from REDF that touches on the style/moral aspects.
FOR-PROFIT OR NONPROFIT?
From Allen Bromberger
(When considering how to structure your social enterprise) The two most important issues for you are liability and taxes. If you run the business inside your nonprofit, rather than a subsidiary, the nonprofit will be responsible for any financial and legal…