Deviation from the Standard: Funding and Supporting Emerging Social Entrepreneurs

Emerging social entrepreneurs need time, support, and financial "runway" to innovate on for-profit business models that deliver impact and financial returns. In the current impact investing market, seed grants or similar types of risk-tolerant capital, like recoverable grants, are instrumental in launching these for-profit and hybrid start-ups, but more are needed. As the social entrepreneurship field evolves to include innovative profit- and impact-generating models, new types of finance and assistance that support these innovative leaders must also emerge.

To shed more light on the types of support and financing needed, Echoing Green -- a nonprofit organization with nearly thirty years of experience in supporting emerging social entrepreneurs through a highly competitive fellowship program -- provides a look into how and from where self-identified social entrepreneurs are capitalizing their businesses at the earliest stages and what type of financing and investment-readiness support they need to get to the next level. Data reported by its Fellowship semifinalist applicants proposing for-profit and hybrid business models are provided as part of its impact investing program.


Echoing Green

Through IssueLab, the Foundation Center is working to more effectively gather, index, and share the collective intelligence of the social sector by providing free access to thousands of case studies, evaluations, white papers, and issue briefs.