Pro bono Event for Social Enterprises is a First for 3M Lawyers
02 November 2015
Corporate lawyers from the science-based technology company 3M lent their expertise to advise social enterprise organisations at the company’s first UK pro bono event.
3M lawyers were joined at the event by colleagues from the company’s Human Resources team and senior practitioners from the leading City law firm of Hogan Lovells.
All four ventures involved with the workshop received assistance from UnLtd, a support network for social entrepreneurs. Three were among the winners of UnLtd's Big Venture Challenge 2015, which supports ambitious social entrepreneurs with access to finance, business support and powerful connections to help them raise investment and scale their ventures.
The ventures were:
- Sunday Assembly, an organisation holding non-religious services around the country and which is looking to set up a trading arm to earn income.
- Oxford Learning Solutions, which focuses on developing a new way to learn to read and was seeking advice on developing a new app and a rebrand.
- Brighter Environment, which was requiring advice on the most appropriate corporate structure to become one of the leading social enterprise facilities management companies.
- Aparito, a digital health enterprise that uses wearable tech and smart phone apps to brings patients and their doctors closer, and is looking to scale up.
The event was held at 3M’s Bracknell head office and led by senior legal adviser Avnee Thakrar, who commented: “We are privileged that 3M is supporting its lawyers internationally to provide pro bono services. Although our colleagues in the USA have been active in this area for many years, this event was a first for us in the UK.
“3M supported the initiative as part of its employee volunteer programme and underlined its commitment to giving something back to the community in which it operates. We worked very closely with Hogan Lovells – which has a well-established pro bono practice – to host this successful workshop.
“All those who gave their time to advise the social entrepreneurs gained a great deal of satisfaction and it was very rewarding to know our advice will help the entrepreneurs take their social enterprise forward.”
Rod Freeman, product liability partner at Hogan Lovells added: "We take our pro bono and social enterprise work very seriously at Hogan Lovells, and enjoy working with clients like 3M who do the same."
The Big Venture Challenge is funded by the Big Lottery Fund England with UnLtd as the lead partner responsible for the overall delivery of the programme.
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world.
The UK and Ireland is home to one of the largest 3M subsidiaries outside the USA, employing 2,900 people across 20 locations, including eight manufacturing sites.
Products manufactured in the UK include coated abrasives, personal safety equipment, adhesive tapes, industrial microbiology products, drug delivery systems and high-performance coatings.
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