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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 35, Issue 2/3, Summer/Fall 2016

Special Issue on Benefit Corporations, Part 2

Daryl Koehn, Michael Hannigan
Pages 165-178
DOI: 10.5840/bpej2016122049

Are Benefit Corporations Truly Beneficial?

Michael Hannigan is the CEO and co-founder of Give Something Back Office Supplies, the third largest office supply company on the west coast of the United States. Hannigan began his business in 1991, long before any benefit corporation legislation was enacted. He reincorporated his business as a benefit corporation after California passed such legislation in 2011. On April 23, 2015, he spoke at the 22nd Annual Stakeholder Dialogue Speaker Series convened at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, by Daryl Koehn and the Veritas Institute. His remarks cover the genesis of his interest in socially responsible business and the start of his company. Hannigan also discusses the arc of what he refers to as the “fourth sector”—the emergence of the social enterprise sector. He evaluates where benefit corporations began and shares his reflections on how they may develop in the future. Hannigan’s talk concludes with a short question and answer session with audience members at the event.