Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Conference

SE2 Logo2

April 23 & 24, 2015

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Eversource Chair in Business Ethics

Connecticut Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship


In October 2014, Connecticut joined a growing number of states that empower for-profit corporations to expand their core missions to expressly include human rights, environmental sustainability, and other social objectives. As a new legal class of businesses, these “benefit corporations” join a growing range of social entrepreneurship and enterprise models that have the potential to have positive social impacts on communities in Connecticut and around the world. Designed to evaluate and enhance this potential, SE2 will feature a critical examination of the various aspects of social entrepreneurship, as well as practical guidance on the challenges and opportunities presented by the newly adopted Connecticut Benefit Corporation Act and other forms of social enterprise.


Participation is free, but space is limited.




Thursday, April 23, 2015

School of Business

Scholars from business and other academic fields will meet to discuss working papers on the governance, regulation, and operation of benefit corporations and related issues concerning the implications of social enterprise for corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and social entrepreneurship.

Participation is by invitation only.

Presenters include:

Mystica Alexander, Bentley University

Norman Bishara, University of Michigan

Kate Cooney, Yale University

Lucien Dhooge, Georgia Institute of Technology

Gwendolyn Gordon, University of Pennsylvania

Gil Lan, Ryerson University

Diana Leyden, University of Connecticut

Haskell Murray, Belmont University

Inara Scott, Oregon State University



Practitioner Conference

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Policy makers, social entrepreneurs, and experts from Connecticut and throughout the country will share strategies and best practices for establishing and running successful enterprises with a strong social responsibility mandate. Presentations will include tutorials in the various regulatory and certification classifications of enterprises and advice and inspiration from current social entrepreneurs. Participants will also have the opportunity to work in small groups on specific challenges to building social responsibility into their enterprises.

Participation is invited from business, human rights, and other students on campus, as well as from entrepreneurs and professionals within the community interested in establishing new social enterprises or enhancing the social mission of existing businesses.

Participation is free, but space is limited.


8:30AM-9:45AM    Mapping the SE2 Landscape: Connecticut and Beyond


9:50AM-11:05AM   State of the Art: Connecticut’s Entrepreneurs and Innovators


11:10AM-12:25PM   Making Business Work for All: National Leaders in Social Enterprise


12:30PM-1:30PM   Breakout Working Groups – Lunch (Registration Required)


1:30PM-3:00PM     Breakout Working Groups – Discussion (Registration Required)

Topic 1: Supply chain transparency and accountability
Topic 2: Labor rights and workforce relations
Topic 3: Environmental sustainability in the workplace and the world


3:00PM-4:00PM    Breakout Working Group Reports and Closing

Presenters Include:

Gregg Haddad, State Representative, Connecticut General Assembly (D-Mansfield)

Spencer Curry & Kieran Foran, FRESH Farm Aquaponics

Sophie Faris, Community Development, B-Lab

James W. McLaughlin, Associate, Murtha Cullina LLP

Michelle Cote, Managing Director, Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Mike Brady, CEO, Greyston Bakery

Jeff Brown, Executive Vice President, Newman’s Own Foundation

Justin Nash, President, Veterans Construction Services, and Founder, Til Duty is Done

Vishal Patel, CEO & Founder, Happy Life Coffee

Anselm Doering, President & CEO, EcoLogic Solutions

Dafna Alsheh, Production Operations Director, Ice Stone

Tamara Brown, Director of Sustainable Development and Community Engagement, Praxair