SUPPORTING SOCIAL ENTERPRISES
BUILDING AN IMPACT INVESTMENT COMMUNITY
The Support Center is leading a working group of organizations and individuals who are trying to build up a community around social impact investing. Our goal is to bring together the supply and demand sides of the impact economy across the state.
- THE GOAL
- To create an integrated community of social entrepreneurs and impact investors that fosters collaboration, education, support and capital investment.
- THE CHALLENGE
- Over the last ten years, an incredible spectrum of models and mechanisms has emerged for tackling social problems. Today we can look at models spanning from nonprofits operating earned income ventures to for profits adhering to a triple bottom line. An expanding universe of funding tools is also arising such as social impact bonds, program-related investments, crowdfunding and impact investment portfolios with the opportunity to deploy additional capital to further social goals. However, this expanded array of financial products, funding streams, corporate structures and approaches is not without its cost. We believe the fragmentation has prevented a unified social enterprise investment community from forming along with unnecessary time navigating the available resources and redundant or underutilized resources.
- THE OPPORTUNITY
- Beginning in 2015, a working group of professionals and aligned organizations began discussing the creation of a community and “exchange” in the NY/NJ area that could connect impactful social ventures with access to capital in a more unified impact investment “system.”. The purposes are to:
- A) Highlight innovative approaches being taken by social entrepreneurs to solve social problems;
B) Streamline access to the range of grants, loans and investments available to social entrepreneurs;
C) Make it easier for impact investors across the spectrum to identify and invest in social ventures;
D) Communicate developments in the regional social enterprise sector;
E) Build a more interconnected community of social enterprises and impact investors.
- THE GATHERINGS
- We envision biannual gatherings where institutions and individuals with a focus on impact can hear directly from social entrepreneurs about the problems they are seeing, their new strategies for meeting those needs, and their case for support. As an ongoing effort, we are building a pipeline of organizations and social ventures working their way towards “investment ready” at which point they may present at an Impact Investment Gathering. The first such gathering was held on May 4, 2016 at Rutgers Business School with a second scheduled for November 4, 2016. We are currently soliciting applications for ventures seeking grants, loans, or equity investments.
- NETWORK OF ORGANIZATIONS
- The following organizations are strategic partners in bringing together the supply and demand sides of impact investment in New Jersey, some leading at the working group level and some providing guidance in the landscape of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.
- The Center for Nonprofits
Community Foundation of New Jersey Foundation Center
New Jersey Community Capital
New Jersey Office of Faith-Based Initiatives Pro Bono Partnership
Rutgers Business School SeaChange Capital Partners
- The following is a sampling of organizations represented at the first Impact Investment Gathering on May 4, 2016:Choose New Jersey Cleantech Open
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation JPMorgan Chase
Lead New Jersey Moore Foundation Morgan Stanley
New Jersey Economic Development Authority Rising Tide Capital
Taproot Foundation Terrace Fund Victoria Foundation UBS