When your company’s mission is to serve the underprivileged, undereducated and disadvantaged people in your community or around the globe, locating funding can be quite competitive. There are a growing number of organizations dipping from the same fundraising pools. It can be quite discouraging for the entrepreneur looking to launch or scale a business.
If you don’t own or operate a non-profit or foundation, your company is practically excluded from the funding sources that socially conscious companies traditionally rely on. Angel investment or venture equity firms sometimes pass on opportunities that exist with social-focused enterprises because they anticipate a slow return on their investment.
A viable solution for a company that faces challenges like those described here, is to seek out a social venture capital fund for the money needed to launch, scale, or cover overhead expenses. Here are 10 social venture capital firms to watch in 2021. Each offers a unique focus that appeals to a variety of organizations with diverse funding needs.
Root Capital – Partners with agricultural businesses around the world. Invests in the growth of agricultural enterprises that support smallholder farmers. They seek out enterprises whose credit needs are too big for microfinance and too small or risky for commercial banks. Willy Foote is the Founder and CEO of Root Capital.
Underdog Ventures – Customized community venture capital funds coupled with a model of customized philanthropy. Underdog Ventures partners with a group of investors committed to financial, community and environmental results. They create innovative and customized investments to meet the specific needs of their investors, each of whom has a dedicated fund that invests in areas that they choose. David Berge is the Founder and CEO of Underdog Ventures.
HBCU Seed – A venture capital and private equity firm that provides funding for businesses owned by HBCU students, alumni, staff, and faculty. Established to tackle the inadequate resources available to aspiring entrepreneurs in the African-American communities that attend and support Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Terrel “T-Time” Davis is the CEO of HBCU Seed.
City Light Capital – Makes early investments in companies making an impact in the areas of education, the environment, safety and care. Josh Cohen, Tom Groos and Jeff Rinehart are Partners of City Light Capital.
Ignia Fund – Partners with entrepreneurs who are making a difference, in Mexico markets, in the lives of the emerging middle class. Ignia invests in businesses of every stage that are building profitable business-to-consumer enterprises. Michael Chu is the Co-Founder and Partner of Ignia Fund.
Shared Interest – An ethical investment organization which aims to alleviate poverty by helping people in remote and disadvantaged communities to trade and earn a living. Patricia Alexander is Managing Director of Shared Interest.
SJF Ventures – Invests in high-growth companies that are making an impact in the areas of a healthy, smart, clean future. SJF Ventures seeks to spark the development of companies that are already highly successful and making a lasting impact. David Kirkpatrick is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of SJF Ventures.
Acumen – A non-profit impact investment fund that invests in companies that are making a difference in the lives of those who are experiencing poverty around the world. Carlyle Singer is the President of Acumen based out of New York.
GoodCompany Ventures – Works with innovative businesses that address environmental and social challenges. Garrett Melby is the Co-Founder and Executive Director and Catherine Griffin is the Managing Director of GoodCompany Ventures.
Gray Ghost Ventures – Invests in early-stage companies with a high return that serve emerging, poverty-driven markets around the globe. Arun Gore is the President and CEO of Gray Ghost Ventures.
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