Social Ventures PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 December 2010 11:41

During my time in San Francisco I joined the "Hub" and really grew to appreciate the Social Entreprenurs who used its shared working space. It deepened my commitment to the space between charities and businesses.

Charity doesn’t scale to meet the needs of billions, and corporate greed cannot be satisfied by the poorest of the poor, which is why basic human needs remain unmet despite the existence of (technical) solutions, and scaling solutions is one of my passions.

Between these two models lies the emerging area of Social Ventures, where an entity operates like a business, but is driven by a mission rather than only by profit. Social Ventures range from Charities with a business activity, through to Corporations acting responsibility.

It is somewhere in the middle where I believe my ideal model lies, organisations where the mission is crucial to the organisation, and not just an add-on, and where finance is only required to get it going e.g. to for example to create and bring to market a technology, but where the solutions can be provided on a commercially viable basis, because the cost has been dropped to a point where the poor can afford it.

Since I'm focused on the early stages of technology, the question is where the funding will come from, and what the equivalent of venture capital is, in the area of impact investing. I led a session at the excellent SoCap conference on this topic, where I was also interviewed for the Uptake.


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