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March 26, 2009 / compassioninpolitics

How to find Social Venture Capital Firms and Social Business Funding

Need to Startup a Social Business? Find a Socially Responsible Venture Capitalist

E How has several great suggestions on finding a social venture capital firm:

Step 1 Visit the National Venture Capital Association website to learn more about what qualities venture capitalists are looking for in companies. Ensure your company attracts SRI venture capitalists by assessing your company in terms of your environmental, social and ethical policies. Be able to prove you practice SRI criteria like environmental sustainability, community activism, shareholder participation and that you have a positive work environment with employee benefits.

Step 2 Attend venture capitalists conferences dedicated to investing in socially responsible companies, such as those held by the Investors’ Circle. Present your business to venture capitalists interested in socially responsible investing.

Step 3 Contact a financial services professional who specializes in finding venture capital. Express your desires to focus on those individuals and companies investing in socially responsible ventures.

To learn the other 2 suggestions, visit E How.

Additional Ways to Secure Venture Capital and Social Business Funding:

If you are funding a social business, you may also want to check out Social Funds for their social venture capital directory. I suggest going on Linked in Answers to to someone you trust to help filter the list. If social venture capital isn’t for you or you find it too difficult to secure funding, perhaps peer to peer lending, a new trend in startups is a better fit for you. Entrepreneur magazine recommends Prosper, Loanio, and Lending Club.

Funding Your Social Business with Social Investment Funds

The Wall Street Journal’s article on social venture business funding points to:

Social investment funds, like the Nonprofit Finance Fund, pool together various sources of funding, such as donations from wealthy individuals, foundations, financial institutions and corporations. These funds differ from regular investment funds as they generally anticipate lower than market-rate returns. Their larger motive tends to be advancing social causes instead.

Additionally, some investment funds are aimed at specific disadvantaged regions or populations. For example, the Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund based in New York, trains its funding eyes on locations in India, Pakistan and East Africa. Yasmina Zaidman, a spokeswoman at Acumen, says that the fund’s social investors are less interested in reaping financial rewards. Instead, she says, “they are looking to invest in philanthropic ventures; the return they’re looking for is the social impact.”

The same WSJ article on social venture funding goes on to discuss Foundations, like a Community Foundation or the Skoll Foundation.

Other suggestions on funding a social business venture???


Leave a Comment
  1. David Famolari / Mar 27 2009 1:29 am

    Other suggestions… find passionate mentors who have done it before and who want to share their knowledge and networks. GoodCompany Ventures ( just launched with the goal of helping social entrepreneurs build and grow companies that make a difference. We’re repurposing the venture incubator model to help develop the next generation of social enterprises.

  2. compassioninpolitics / Mar 27 2009 5:42 am

    Fantastic idea. I wish you the best as you launch your venture and serve as an incubator to social business ventures.

  3. compassioninpolitics / Jan 4 2011 7:55 am

    Good Company is also funding this startup which is connecting social ventures with funding & funders with entrepreneurs who need to be funded:

    • R. A. Schaffer / Jun 26 2013 4:59 pm

      We need funding for the next-generation highly interactive NLP-enabled educational technology start-up (languages + math). Where should we go for intelligent compatible seed funders interested in significantly improving American education? Please, advise. Thanks.

  4. Nathan Ketsdever / Jun 26 2013 7:02 pm

    I assume you mean Natural Language Processing

    I suggest following:
    1) Ed Surge
    2) Hacking Edu is written by a writer for one of the tech blogs

    Tech Stars just launched an incubator around this issue through one of the publishers/players in the Ed tech space.

    Ideally find a geography thats friendly to entrepreneurship, education, innovation, etc.. Boston and SF seem to be friendly.


  1. Best Social Business Venture Posts of 2009 « Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Non-Profits, and Base of the Pyramid/BOP Design Solutions

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