As any other business enterprise, social enterprises suffer the most from not having enough liquid funds to start they venture. Usually there is plenty goodwill and support from friends, family or community. But no-one would like to donate money, only time.
Formal channels of crowdfunding or bank loans are not yet available as there is limited reputation and consistent track record. Investors don’t see a social enterprise as a fast vehicle to return their investments. Government or non-government funders want impact reports to limit the risks.
In our experience there are multiple sources of funding though…
- One of our non-profit clients started with a Constitution and Board of Directors with extensive network and personal track record. They could quickly involve a few corporations as sponsor partners.
- Another non-profit organization applied with their Annual Plan to a Government Ministry to get them as main funder.
- A for-profit social startup used their previous employment redundancy pack as a nest egg until external funding arrives.
- Another for-profit social startup borrowed money from a bank on their personal securities.
- But the most common way is to “Bootstrap” from startup to scaleup by delivering value to the beneficiaries and reinvesting part of the revenue into growth.
It means that RESROUCEFULLNESS, relying on the PERSONAL/PROFESSIONAL NETWORK, CO-DESIGN, CO-OPERATION and RENTING rather than OWNING assets can KEEP COSTS DOWN.
How can you learn this quickly?
- In New Zealand there is a fantastic opportunity to learn completely free by using the resources collected at Digital Boost: https://digitalboost.business.govt.nz/s/?language=en_NZ
- In other countries search for regional business associations or find the quickest resources on YouTube searching for “startup funding kit”. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=677ZtSMr4-4
- In the 360tuned Social Enterprise Platform we developed a number of techniques to save costs but use rubber-band scalability.
- We train our clients for AGILE MINDSET even if they have annual budget. Incremental (means weekly) improvements build confidence.
- We reduced the number of processes to the ESSENTIAL SKILLSET. So there is no waste of time, money or resources too early.
- We only use subscription based SCALABLE TOOLSET and can start from a limited functionality and user numbers, but can linearly scale with the demand.
Although we are not funding partners, but we are open to partner with you to develop and operate all your digital tools, processes and teams.
- At the beginning you can hire our coach(es) to learn on-demand without a huge investment.
- Later you can rent our team(s) to be your VIRTUAL technical/business TEAM, and you can do a month-to-month payment plan.
- The third option is to partner with us and we run all your research & development, marketing & sales, people & culture, customer service and finance & controlling processes for a percentage of your revenue.
This can save you time & money, but most importantly it let’s you focus on what you are best with: delivering your idea to the community you want to impact.
We wish you not just good luck but good will for your Impact Journey.