Eco-Angels: Venture Capital For Socially Responsible Eco-Businesses

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priya.jpgWhen I met Priya Haji, co-founder of World of Good, at the recent Natural Products Expo in Southern California, her business was growing rapidly, helped in no small part by funding by social lenders.Bubbly and determined, she knows first hand the challenges socially responsible business face attracting capital.

“There’s a consumer-driven demand for this kind of ethical consumption, but the debt markets don’t understand that,” (She says).

Making the rounds of traditional venture capital firms can be excruciating for eco-entrepreneurs. Traditional firms excited by the opportunities inherent in pursuing green ventures are often less than thrilled when social responsibility is part of the plan.

A great way to end a meeting with a traditional investor or banker is to say, “Oh, by the way, I give away 10 percent of my profits to charity.”

Fortunately there are options available for eco-entrepreneurs convinced that doing well by doing good is possible.

Traditional VCs often pressure entrepreneurs to jettison their do-gooder roots, but social investors take the opposite approach. Social investors want to make sure that their portfolio companies maintain their social missions as they grow.

A new breed of investors actively seeks out businesses with a social mission and provides lines of credit and capital to growing eco-firms. But, don’t bring your idea on a piece of paper. These investors are looking for solid business plans and proven profits as well.

Start-ups …often find themselves in no man’s land when looking for capital between $1 million and $5 million,” he said. “The capital requested is too small to attract big institutional investors.” On the other hand, it can be difficult to raise even $1 million from acquaintances or angel investors…

 

If your business is ready to enter the next stage you might want to consider contacting one of these well known Social Investment Firms.

Some Top Sustainable Business Investment Firms

Good Capital

Calvert Foundation

New Resource Bank

Underdog Ventures

Shared Interest

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