Public benefit corporations have an expanded purpose beyond maximizing share value to explicitly include general and specific public benefit.
Nate Morris urges State Senate to pass public benefit corporations
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky entrepreneur Nate Morris, the founder, chairman and CEO of Rubicon Global, today voiced support for legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly that would allow for the creation of public benefit corporations – companies that have an expanded purpose beyond maximizing share value to explicitly include general and specific public benefit.
House Bill 35, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Miller (R-Louisville), passed the Kentucky House of Representatives by a vote of 78-17 on Feb. 14. The legislation is now being considered by the Senate.
“This is exactly the kind of positive action Kentucky should take to make the Commonwealth more competitive for business and attractive for investment so we can create new jobs,” said Morris. “There is a younger generation that is demanding through the free market that businesses do good in the world. I want Kentucky to lead the way.”
“I applaud my friend, Rep. Jerry Miller, and members of both parties for taking action and I urge the Senate to pass House Bill 35,” said Morris.
Morris founded Rubicon in Louisville in 2008. The company is headquartered in Atlanta and has offices in Lexington, New York and San Francisco. Rubicon, which employs more than 300, was recently named a Next Billion-Dollar Startup by Forbes and one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. Investors in Rubicon include Kentucky business leaders Brad Kelley, C.M. “Bill” Gatton, Chris Sullivan and Sandra Frazier.
Morris has been a vocal advocate for benefit corporations. In 2013, Morris worked with the leadership of companies including Warby Parker and Prudential Financial to pass a similar law in Delaware recognizing public benefit corporations.
Rubicon is a certified B Corporation, a private certification issued to for-profit companies by B Lab, a global non-profit organization. B Lab itself advocates for public benefit corporations.
Morris lives in Lexington. In 2016, he was named the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics. Morris gives guest lectures at the college, serves as a mentor for the UK Venture Studio and for UK teams in business plan competitions, and spends several days per year at the college engaging with students, faculty and community members. He has developed a social enterprise curriculum at the Gatton College.
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