The Funding Landscape
Grant funding is offered by charitable, philanthropic, and government bodies who do not expect a financial return but are instead investing in the social outcome that the social enterprise promises. Large private foundations like the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation offer grants to organisations working in their chosen areas of focus.
Some environment related business models may generate sufficient profits to make them attractive targets for traditional equity and debt investment funding as well.
Sources of investment funding include:
• Angel investors: wealthy individuals interested in making investments.
• Seed funding firms: companies that invest small amounts of early-stage capital in startups.
• Venture capital funds: companies that pool and invest large amounts of money in emerging businesses.
A recent development in the funding space is the concept of impact investing. The Global Impact Investing Network defines impact investment as: “investments made into companies, organisations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.”
This burgeoning field that has grown out of the realization that producing goods and services with a social value—such as vaccines for infectious diseases—can also generate profits for investors. One example of an impact investment group is Root Capital.
Investigate funding opportunities for upcycling related projects and share with your fellow learners.