This past week, while Americans were preparing for Thanksgiving, the government of Canada made a landmark commitment to social finance that we should all be thankful for. In its Fall Economic Statement, the federal government earmarked an unprecedented $805 million to advance social and environmental solutions, as part of its broader push to invest in middle […]
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A new initiative in Minneapolis is bringing the idea of mixed use development to social entrepreneurship. FINNEGANS House, a newly opened building in downtown Minneapolis that is part of a bigger development project, combines a brewery with a space for the local impact community to connect and grow. Finnegan’s House is the brainchild of Jacquie […]
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When they created their idea-generating incubator, Maria Gibbs and Dustin Mix didn’t know what to expect. But with their first class completed, the South Bend, Indiana program—itself little more than an idea a year ago— has resulted in new social ventures and founders who plan to put down roots in the Midwest city. The incubator, […]
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Since 2011, Laurie Lane-Zucker has been building social entrepreneurship ecosystems. He founded Impact Entrepreneur, a LinkedIn group, to combat the isolation and dislocation he felt as a social entrepreneur working in the hills of Sheffield, MA, in the Berkshires. Today that group counts 17,000 members around the globe. From there, he created a consulting arm […]
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Climate Change. Inequality. Political dysfunction and divisiveness. These are some of the monumental challenges we face in the year ahead. One encouraging note is that businesses are increasing stepping up and embracing the role of business as a force for good. The most visible sign of this is the B Corp. movement. Since its beginnings […]
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On Bank Street in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, a stylish loft occupies the sixth floor of a nondescript building. The bright, open space teems with art, from splashy graffiti to elegant sculptures. A diverse crowd — including 20-something hipsters and business-casual boomers — gazes at laptops and clusters around tables, chatting and sipping from mugs. At first glance, this could […]
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For all its faults, we may look back at 2016 as the year that impact investing was democratized. Once the exclusive domain of wealthy individuals and institutions, impact investing is now within reach of any American with $100 to invest—thanks to the passage of the JOBS Act and new investment vehicles like those offered by […]
Wefunder, Inc. is now Wefunder PBC. On Wednesday, Wefunder will become the first investment crowdfunding platform to become a public benefit corp., a legal designation that hardwires a company’s social mission into its charter. In Wefunder’s case, that mission is to “defend the American Dream.” Wefunder follows in the footsteps of Kickstarter, the rewards-based crowdfunding […]
For mission-driven businesses, growth is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because growth can magnify both the social and financial return. But it’s a curse because growth usually creates a need for more capital, and bringing in new capital, if not done right, can put the mission at risk. Investors willing to […]
Social enterprises are trying out all sorts of approaches to funding and structuring their ventures. But as for-profits, they are often cut off from grant opportunities (although that is changing). A new form of fiscal sponsorship promises to help fill the gap. A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit organization that leverages its legal and tax-exempt […]