Cre8tive Philanthropy

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Investment and innovation in the for-profit social impact community.

SOCAP RECAP: And what really is next?

At SOCAP, the excitement and energy at the conference was palatable. Never before has there been a gathering of bright, creative, energetic, diverse, and driven group of people. Truly. But perhaps that is what it takes to bring a new sector to life.

Enough about the amazing SOCAP conference, what is actually happening as a result of it? From first-hand observation, there is action across disciplines, from public policy to investment management, bootstrapping entrepreneurs to corporate attorneys, helping to move forward and make way for the impact sector. The industry is still in its formative years, developing and forming, but it will not be long before significant progress is made. Things happen quickly when bright and creative people get together.

Progress has been noted. The NYT sourced an article from Johnathan Weber of The Bay Citizen on topic of the conference.

But the notion that for-profit companies with a social mission at their core could constitute an “asset class” is fairly new. And though there are myriad challenges in making it real, there is genuine progress.

Kevin Jones, a serial entrepreneur who created the SOCAP conference, said such attitudes were evolving rapidly. “There is a changing investor mindset,” he said. “There is a true moral hunger for a new asset class.”

Mr. Jones cited a recent study showing that some $120 billion of investment capital — much of it from wealthy families — is looking for a socially productive, and profitable, home.

Collectively, social entrepreneurs, investors, and support organizations are still developing the infrastructure for the emerging asset class. Networks, legal structures, social policy advocates, and financial products are still being created to expand the base and make the market more available and mainstream. The collective belief is that this is a viable market and that there really is a means to do good while making money. Both institutional and retail investors should have opportunities to put their capital to work, not just earning a profit, but solving challenging environmental and social issues.

The character of social entrepreneurs and investors goes beyond “we can” to “we ARE”. With the dedication and innovation of talented people, the momentum is already moving social enterprise and impact investment forward.

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Filed under: Impact Investing, Social Entrepreneurs

One Response

  1. Now all that’s needed are the social enterprise entrepreneurs!

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