This article was written by the Artemis Impact team, a company that aims to help organizations & donors to make a sustainable impact through 3 pillars: results-based funding, consulting services & technology.
No one can overestimate the importance of funding & capital investment while running any sort of venture. For social enterprises that are just starting, it is even more important to get the initial investment to kickstart the project. The current global impact investment market stands at $715 billion in the year 2020 (according to the Annual Impact Investor Survey report from GIIN). However, as the size of the impact investment market is increasing, so is the competition between organizations to access these funds.
If you are running a social enterprise, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get cracking, if you want to get a share of this $715 billion market. To help you, we have summarized 4 points, which can help you get an impact investment for your dream projects.
1. Start with Impact
If you want to get impact investment, you must show the impact you are currently creating or plan to create with your social enterprise. Before making any kind of investment, people want to see the return on investment they can get out of it. While for a usual for-profit startup, it would be relatively easy to show the ROI an investor can get, in terms of the projected profits & revenues, for a social enterprise, the projected outcome or impact you can create acts as an equivalent to the profit.
If you have already been running your social enterprise for some time, then it would be crucial that you can clearly communicate the outcome or impact you have created so far.
However, if you are just starting out, then your pitch needs to clearly state the impact you plan to create, the metrics & indicators you would measure & how you plan to measure the impact you will create - the tools you would create.
Thankfully, we live in the age of technology and we have great tools available to be able to measure & see the impact you create. One such tool is Artemis Impact Measurement app, which allows you to collect real-time data, aggregate & visualise your data.
2. Explore different options
The impact investment landscape is very broad with different options available like - individual investors, foundations, institutional donors, grants, crowdfunding platforms & donor networks. One of the best options to connect with potential investors is through personal connections, but it’s not always possible to find that. In which case, becoming a part of donor networks can open many doors for you.
3. Focus on building relationships & communication
No matter which method you take to find potential impact investors, a lot will come down to your relationship with the investors. Most often, investors don’t invest in ideas but on people. Investors need to be able to put their trust in you if you want them to part with their hard-earned money. One of the most important steps to take while building this relationship is to know more about them - their investment profile, the areas they invest in. When you do this research, try to understand the common values in those projects & teams to understand the values they look for most. This will help you in two ways :First to understand if there is a synergy between your & their values. Secondly, give you a headstart in building strong & meaningful relationships with them
4. Accelerator programs
Another important avenue that social enterprises can’t ignore is accelerator programs. There are multiple benefits for a social enterprise to join an accelerator program. Most importantly, most accelerator programs will provide you financial support or at least provide you a platform to get in touch with potential investors. Secondly, accelerator programs are a great place for learning from experts. You will be able to find mentors & guides who can help you with not just the financial aspects but also with other aspects of running a business. There are also many accelerator programs, which focus on helping social enterprises measure the impact they create.
Raising funds is potentially one of the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs. However, if you are passionate about your project & have a true vision to make a change, then sooner or later, you are bound to break that ceiling & get the funds you need to realize those dreams. We hope our suggestions will help you get funds for your social enterprise. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.