Dear Impact People,
SocialFinanceLab, the platform, has made its debut! With something for every player of the impact business ecosystem, it’s worth taking a few minutes to look around.
One of the points we heard repeatedly from social entrepreneurs was how lonely it sometimes feels when working through the many and diverse challenges of navigating the financial elements of running a business with multiple bottom lines. (Not hard to imagine!) The case studies on SocialFinanceLab feature the experiences of those who have been down the financial path before- both successfully and unsuccessfully. Contributing to a sense of belonging among impact businesses and knowledge of what has worked and what hasn’t, are just two of the benefits of the case studies. Look for them under “Get Inspired,” because that is what they are there to do, inspire you and others to keep going or give social business a try.
Financial terms, fundraising options, financial planning- learning nuggets on SocialFinanceLab are there to help you “Get smarter” in the financial realm. Test your investment readiness, get a grip on what crowdfunding is and how it works, check out a course on “Digital Fundraising for Social Business,” or find a template for creating a financial plan. There is even a self-assessment tool to help explain the phases of business development along with personas to help you identify where you are in the process.
Let’s talk about money. “Get funding” is where you will find financial offers from lending institutions, programs, and impact investors. Additionally, financial offers in the form of competitive accelerator programs, incubators, and consulting services are also to be found on SocialFinanceLab. You might find a fitting financial opportunity for your situation or connect with a person to help you determine your needs.
Eventually, even for impact businesses, the financial bottom line needs to add up. The offers and information on SocialFinanceLab are there to help businesses achieve all of their bottom lines.
You’re not a social entrepreneur and are wondering what SocialFinanceLab has to offer you? Great question. Let’s take a look:
Impact Investor: Maybe you represent a financial institution or are an established venture capitalist. Post your financial offer on SocialFinanceLab or check out the case studies for potential investment opportunities.
Maybe you are an impact investor on a more moderate scale. Have you contributed to an impact venture via crowdfunding? If so, then you qualify.
Financial Expert: Maybe you work with startups and would like to know more about how to serve the growing number of impact businesses. Get a start by being inspired by the stories of others and then following up with a few learning nuggets of your choice and ending by browsing what financial offers are available for your clients.
Educators: Are you an educator desiring to spread the word about impact ventures and the overarching ecosystem? SocialFinanceLab recognizes your very important and special role in the ecosystem and have developed something especially for teachers and trainers, “Teach with SFL,” a handbook for how to use the platform in a learning environment. Whether you want to use it as a reference or an interactive tool, SocialFinanceLab is a valuable instrument for exposing learners to the opportunities, experiences, and knowledge associated with impact business.
The team that created SocialFinanceLab is excited about what the platform is, how it will (and could) grow, and how it contributes to the development of entrepreneurial mindsets, increased competency and awareness around impact business, and even the development of communication, creativity, and other such “soft competences” which are increasingly shown to play a valuable role in success. If it sounds too good to be true, maybe it is. Take a look, decide for yourself, and feel free to let us know what you think!
-Your SFL Team