Introduction to Understanding and Accessing Social Investment

A Brief Guide for Social Entrepreneurs and Development Practitioners

This paper explores the growing pool of money termed “social investment” that is tailored to enterprise-based approaches to social and environmental problems. Social investment can help organizations build capacity, test innovations, and achieve sustainability.

The goals for this paper are to:

  • provide a working definition for “social investment”, and explain how this differs from traditional funding mechanisms;
  • educate organizations engaged in social enterprise activity and development on social investors and their criteria, as these organizations evolve their own business and funding strategies; and
  • provide concrete advice on approaching social investors, a process that is significantly different from traditional grant-writing.
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