House OKs Blazejewski bill to boost investments in social ventures

05/03/2011

STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today gave its approval to a bill sponsored by Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski aimed at making Rhode Island fertile ground for startup social ventures – privately-funded companies seeking to serve a public good.

The legislation amends the state’s limited liability company statute to allow the creation of low-profit limited liability companies, or L3Cs. L3Cs are companies organized to further charitable or education purposes as defined in the Internal Revenue Code. The special designation would enable private foundations to make program-related investments in the corporations.

“With many students graduating from our colleges and universities with a focus on entrepreneurship and community service, Rhode Island is well-positioned to become the Silicon Valley of the social venture movement,” said Representative Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence, East Providence). “As a tool for economic development, it is critical that we aid investment and foster growth in these socially responsible businesses.”

The bill will now be forwarded to the Senate, where Sen. Paul V. Jabour (D-Dist. 5, Providence) is sponsoring companion legislation (2011-S 0353)
“The L3C structure lays the groundwork for a new way of doing business in Rhode Island,” said Representative Blazejewski. “It would aid investment in social ventures by opening up the possibility of combining foundation funding as well as private investment dollars to finance socially responsible businesses, attract even more investment in this sector, and position Rhode Island as a national social venture hub.”

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Waterman, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457