At this past year’s SoCap, I led an Open Space conversation around the language that we are using in the social business/enterprise/venture space. I have observed over the past few years, as this sector evolves and pushes boundaries, there is much inconsistency in how we communicate what we are doing. These organizations are generating revenue by tackling some of the world’s biggest problems, yet there seems to be much confusion in the marketplace from those who are building the businesses and those who are investing in them.
In preparing for the SoCap Conference I was thinking about the direction that I want to take my company and the opportunities for social capital growth and investing in Canada. I'm not going to lie, raising capital for a social venture is tough... This is due in large part to the nature of the space I work in. Social ventures, as a defined type of business is an emerging market. Therefore part of the task of the entrepreneur is educating the market about what a for-profit social venture is, then it is sourcing out the non-traditional investors who understand the multi-line reporting of how investment success will be measured, then of course you have to sell them on your idea (which in new spaces is always a challenge) this all culminates with quickly taking your concept to market. Phew! That's why they call it the five-year over night success story.