Deviation from the Standard: Funding and Supporting Emerging Social Entrepreneurs

Oct 1, 2015

Emerging social entrepreneurs need time, support, and financial "runway" to innovate on for-profit business models that deliver impact and financial returns. In the current impact investing market, seed grants or similar types of risk-tolerant capital, like recoverable grants, are instrumental in launching these for-profit and hybrid start-ups, but more are needed. As the social entrepreneurship field evolves to include innovative profit- and impact-generating models, new types of finance and assistance that support these innovative leaders must also emerge. To shed more light on the types of support and financing needed, Echoing Green -- a nonprofit organization with nearly thirty years of experience in supporting emerging social entrepreneurs through a highly competitive fellowship program -- provides a look into how and from where self-identified social entrepreneurs are capitalizing their businesses at the earliest stages and what type of financing and investment-readiness support they need to get to the next level. Data reported by its Fellowship semifinalist applicants proposing for-profit and hybrid business models are provided as part of its impact investing program.

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