Home > b-corporation, business, social entrepreneurs > Social Entrepreneurship at its finest: Cascade Engineering.

Social Entrepreneurship at its finest: Cascade Engineering.

The Governor’s Office last week posted an article on its “reinvention blog” highlighting a company doing amazing work in West Michigan and around the globe: Cascade Engineering.

According to the State’s Blog Post: “When Fred Keller founded Cascade Engineering in 1973, he was focused not only on building a successful company but also on creating a great place for people to work.”

– Signs of a great visionary and social entrepreneur.

“Keller’s one of a kind program called “Welfare to Career,” in partnership with the state of Michigan, aims to knock down barriers that keep his employees from succeeding.” Check out the article here.

Eradicating Employment Barriers…

Cascade Engineering has always been at the forefront of eradicating barriers to employment. The story of Ms. Valderas, a single mother with small children, and how Cascade Engineering provided her the support and opportunities she needed to succeed is a great testimony of how Cascade Engineering values its workers at a fundamental level.

Cascade Engineering was also in the news today – two of its employees won national awards in manufacturing.

Cascade Engineering and the legacy that Fred Keller has created is certainly living up to its B-Corp designation.

B-Corp Designation

Cascade Engineering maintains a B-Corp Designation. Check out the link for more information on B-Corps.

27 states (excluding Michigan) allow for the formation of “B-Corporations”  Essentially, B-Corps have two purposes:

1..to create profit and

2.  “create a material positive impact on society and the environment”

B-Corps also Impose heightened fiduciary duties on their board of directors – to  consider social/environmental consequences for board decisions.

Not in Michigan…

Bills that would authorize the formation of B-Corps have been proposed, but never enacted.

The closest business entities that exist under Michigan are Low-profit Limited Liability Companies (L3Cs) – the legislature authorized the formation of these “hybrid” business entities in 2009.  L3Cs are formed fundamentally for a charitable/socially beneficial purpose, but unlike non-profit corporations, members can own equity in these L3Cs.
L3Cs – Viable Tools for Social Entrepreneurs…

I’ve said this before- L3Cs are a viable tool for social entrepreneurs – they tell the whole world that your company exists, fundamentally to do good.   Same can be said for “B-Corps”.

To those at Cascade Engineering – keep up the good work!

Questions? Comments?

email: Jeshua@dwlawpc.com


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