Research with Impact: 'Introducing novel company law forms for social change'


'Introducing novel company law forms for social change: the development of tailor-made legislation for social enterprises in the Netherlands'

In 2013, Tineke Lambooy, Professor of Corporate Law at Nyenrode Business Universiteit, and Aikaterini Argyrou, Assistant Professor also at Nyenrode, specialized in social enterprises and law, started their research in the field of social entrepreneurship and law. The purpose of the research was to find out in which way legal frameworks (can) facilitate social enterprises. Entrepreneurs who start social enterprises are considered the explorers of the ‘new economy’. In this new economy, companies prioritize reaching societal goals over making a profit with their business. The current legal forms in the Netherlands do not yet support these companies.

The research has in recent years supported many entrepreneurs in finding appropriate legal forms for their businesses. In addition, the research has contributed to the creation of the Social Enterprises Code in the Netherlands. This Code has been in use since 2018, offering the use of its label to social enterprises that participate. This quality mark creates recognition, acknowledgement, and trust for them. A follow-up to the Social Enterprises Code is the current legislative development of the ‘BVm’ (‘BV-societal’): a new Dutch legal form which is based on the Dutch BV (limited liability company) but will be tailor-made for social enterprises.