We want to see a world without the poverty that exists today.
Ambitious, entrepreneurially minded individuals are seeing problems in their communities, and are devising innovative solutions to solve them. Some of these ideas have the potential to scale up, moving beyond one community to affect many more.
We believe that investment in these entrepreneurial ideas is one of the best tools we have to see a world without poverty.
We exist to play a small part in helping that world emerge.
What we do:
We help social ventures get from their initial “pilot” to “proof of concept”.
Great ideas can’t scale until they prove themselves. We help them do this.
Over the past two decades, many large funds have been developed to help scale out proven social enterprise models. Organizations like Acumen Fund and LGT Venture Philanthropy have utilized “Patient Capital” to expand out high-impact social ventures in the world’s least developed economies. These organizations paved the way for others, and have demonstrated that there is a need for further investment in social enterprise as a tool to measurably reduce poverty.
Organizations like Acumen Fund rarely deal in amounts less than $500,000, and will only work with proven businesses that have well-established business models. A handful of funders have entered the market as “early stage” funders, but still will rarely deal in anything less than $200,000.
Our goal is to help the most innovative, high-potential ideas prove themselves in action, and then expand out through further access to these larger pools of capital.
How we do it:
We provide “Proving Capital” and support to enable early-stage social ventures to prove their model.
In funding these organizations, we currently provide grants of up to $40,000 in Proving Capital. We start with grants because we recognize that many social ventures will be unable to properly absorb debt or equity until they have proven their model. We also recognize that there is a gap after this initial grant where small-scale debt or equity are useful tools to finance initial expansion, and we will sometimes bridge the organization using these financial tools.
In support, we help growing social ventures identify their weaknesses, guiding them to be investment-ready within the social capital marketplace. We provide mentorship as they undergo their first and second years in operations.