Which Legal Structure is Right for my Social Venture?

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Have you ever thought of starting a social purpose business that provides critical products and services to address unmet needs in the community?  Or starting a nonprofit organization that serves a public good? Then, you might be a social entrepreneur. Join us for this important webinar designed to help would-be and existing social entrepreneurs better understand the legal entity options available for starting, growing and scaling social ventures. Experienced attorneys will guide you through various entity structures including for-profit, nonprofit and hybrid models and discuss key variables in decision-making so that your venture can achieve maximum social impact. Please note that legal entity structures differ by state and this workshop is open to a national audience so the information provided will present a general overview of entity structures not specific to any particular state.


Shanika Williams

Shanika Owens, JD is an associate based in Butzel Long's Detroit office. Shanika focuses her practice on corporate governance, real property and regulatory law. Shanika is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School (J.D., cum laude) and Michigan State University (B.S. Economics). Prior to law school, Shanika served as a legislative assistant to several members of the Detroit City Council where she advised policymakers on several issues including economic development and matters leading up to the Detroit bankruptcy. Shanika serves on the board of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental justice.

Albert Pak


Albert Pak, JD, MPA is the Director of Innovation at 12 Plus, an education nonprofit that helps Philadelphia high school students succeed beyond 12th grade. Albert oversees the organization's technology ventures and special projects. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D.), Princeton University (M.P.A., Domestic Policy), and the Wharton School (B.S. Economics). Previously, Albert was a Skadden Fellow and Attorney at Michigan Community Resources, where he helped small businesses and nonprofits access transactional legal services. He also worked at Oliver Wyman as a management consultant for clients in the financial services industry. 

Event details

Title: Which Legal Structure is Right for my Social Venture?
Date: Thursday, March 11, 2021
Time: 2 - 4 pm EST
Audience: Open to all
Register by March 10, 2020


Location: Attendees will receive the Zoom link for this online seminar after they register. This event is hosted on Zoom and we request that attendees join via the Zoom app or website and change their Zoom username to their full name for assistance with attendance verification. 

Cost: $20; The presenters have volunteered their time to present and the sponsors plan to donate all registration proceeds from this event to Michigan Community Resources, a nonprofit organization based in Detroit that provides support to nonprofits and small business owners in under-resourced neighborhoods. 

CEU's: $10 additional cost if you would like 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for social workers. Those seeking to obtain the CEU's must complete the following:

  • Log in to the event by the 2 pm start and attend the full event
  • Complete the sign-in form posted to the event Zoom chatbox (you must attend via the Zoom app or website - calling in via phone will not display the chatbox and sign-in form link)
  • Pass a short post-event quiz (link will be emailed after the event)
  • Complete the $10 payment via the WSU Social Work Online Store

The CEU certificate will be emailed within 10 business days. For questions regarding CEU's contact ce_ssw@wayne.edu or 313-577-9348. 

Additional Information: Contact Marijo Upshaw at mjupshaw@wayne.edu. 


The Social Entrepreneurship Committee at the School of Social Work at Wayne State University and the Network for Social Work Management.