Impact Investors

In the investing world, there’s been a strong move towards investing in companies that have a positive impact in the world, whether that is environmental, social or economic.  It used to be that impact investors looked only to non-profit ventures. But more and more organizations and individuals are investing in companies that pursue both profits and social good—what’s known as the double bottom line.

If you are an entrepreneur with a social mission, you should acquaint yourself with the impact investing world. That covers everything from community foundations to angel networks. Here are some well known impact investors and networks:

1) Echoing Green Since its founding in 1987, this New York-based organization has provided 500 social entrepreneurs working in over forty countries with $31 million in start-up funding, support and networking. It also has a competitive fellowship program.

2) Investor’s Circle: A Network of Social Impact Angel Investors: Purpose is to build an “impact investing eco-system” supporting investments that create positive social & environmental impact. Pitch clinics and business plan competitions. 2013 Capital Fund: $10,000,000 in seed capital for new start-ups. $150 to apply.

3) RSF Social Finance: Based on the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner, this Bay Area organization provides loans, gifts, and investments that foster social and spiritual renewal to enterprises across the country.  The goal: aligning money with values.

4) Slow Money: Capital for local, community-based sustainable food & agriculture enterprises. Great organization if you are in the food biz!

5) Sustainable brands such as Patagonia, Clif Bar and Seventh Generation have impact investing funds that invest in social enterprises.