Crowd impact: The World’s Largest Social Enterprise Pitch Event

Pitching ideasBen Goldhirsh is the co-founder and CEO of GOOD a community you should join and follow if you want to try to make a difference. They’re a global ‘community of, by and for pragmatic idealists working towards individual and collective progress ‘ = good.

Ben’s a judge for CROWDIMPACT the world’s largest Social Enterprise pitch event offering $100million in capital which is up for grabs.

Social Enterprises get to pitch their ideas in front of an audience of entrepreneurs and investors, dragon’s den style, to win a cash prize and also exposure to impact investment professionals.

GOOD feel what brings Social Enterprises to scale is communities coming together to ‘barn raise’ like this. This is why Crowdfunder has teamed up with GOOD, TED Fellows, X PRIZE Foundation, Social Enterprise Alliance, and many other partner communities for CROWD IMPACT.
The judges need help in deciding who the finalists will be and ultimately which ones will get funded. Here’s how GOOD say you can get involved:
  • Click here to find the social enterprises you believe in and want to support.
  • Click Follow Company on the top right of each company profile you support.
  • Click Share Company to spread the word and share to your social network.

Social Enterprise Funding: £10million open for applications

A few weeks ago I went to a Global Net 21 event about micro-finance, which sounds a bit boring but was very interesting. Mike Baker from Big Issue Invest was a guest speaker, with Dr. Phyllis SantaMaria from Microfinance without Borders – both lovely people.

What became sadly very apparent is that social enterprises don’t have a proven track record and often have business models which don’t follow convention (the standard rules). They’re therefore a high risk and getting bank loans or incubator funding can be pretty impossible.

It’s good to see there’s a new fund, The Social Incubator Fund, which aims to encourage investment into early-stage social ventures.

It’s been introduced by the Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd. This new fund will allow incubators (organisations that offer funding and intensive mentoring to early-stage businesses) to apply for annual grants of up to £750,000 to invest in social enterprise start-ups. The incubators themselves could also receive between £50,000 and £250,000 per year to put towards operating costs, which seems a significant slice of the pie?

The Big Lottery Fund, Big Society Capital and The Social Investment Business will make decisions about applicants as part of the advisory board (which will be chaired by the Cabinet Office).

Successful applicants will be announced at the end of January 2013, with two subsequent rounds launching in 2013 and 2014. Applications can be made here.

Let’s hope this isn’t just a political manoeuvre and actually does a lot of good.