Good grief! The future is already knocking on our door. Last October, I wrote about the need to find ways to make impact investment part of every portfolio. And I�ve been proselytizing for collaboration and networking since I started Ventureneer.
But even I didn�t expect so much so fast. Already the ways in which you and I can invest in social impact are expanding.
- Good Capital has the mission of providing a bridge between philanthropy and investment.
- Microplace helps small investors � $25 is the minimum � show the world what they stand for, by investing in social enterprises.
- Mission Markets is a FINRA regulated investment exchange for sustainable enterprises.
- The pioneers, Acumen Fund and Kiva continue to grow. The latter hit $100 million in microloans after just 4 years in operation.
And everyone is getting on the networking/small business support bandwagon, not just President Obama with his Start-up America program for small businesses or Goldman Sachs with its 10,000 Small Businesses Program � although I�m very glad to see both of these programs. The city of New York has created incubators for small businesses, spaces in which entrepreneurs can start a business with low overhead and network with others at the same time. The latest is a food-focused site in a low-income area of Brooklyn.
But even better, social entrepreneurs are finding ways to help each other attract investors and develop social enterprises. Among them, Hub Ventures, which combines networking and peer support with seed funding, as does the Unreasonable Institute where entrepreneurs compete for inclusion in a mentoring and training program.
We�ve got a lot of work to do but look at the progress made already!
What other signs of progress for social entrepreneurs do you see?