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How to Drive Social Innovation through Startups
Guest post from WeSparkt co-founder Jonathan Blanchard
Startups aren’t always sexy. For every billion dollar Instagram newsworthy deal, most startups work with little fanfare and recognition. While social media companies are the press’ new darlings, hundreds of startups tackle critical yet stodgy industries that are full of inefficiencies. Innovations in healthcare, education, and energy are quietly improving social and environmental outcomes by changing the way these sectors have operated for decades. These social entrepreneurs re-think how we take care of the population and our energy economy, make money and benefit society. We need more of these social startups to get to market to change the world for the better.
How do we launch these double-bottom line startups to drive real social impact? Access to capital is a crucial part of the answer. Over 72% of social impact startups say that raising money is their biggest concern. Professional investors chase hot sectors and will often avoid entrepreneurs building profitable businesses in education, health and clean technology. These startups need a new source of capital to fund their growth at the early stages.
An untapped community looking for impact investment opportunities exists for these startups. They are the 90% of individuals eligible to invest in startups who don’t have access. Many of these investors have an affinity for these sectors and are looking for social and environmental returns beyond profit alone. Hope Consulting estimates that there is $120 billion on the sidelines for impact investments from high net worth individuals. It will stay on the sidelines, however, until it can find meaningful impact investment opportunities and has access to startups that are changing the world.
Our company, WeSparkt, provides that access. WeSparkt connects impact investors with startup investment opportunities in the clean technology, healthcare, and education technology sectors. Our mission is to fund and launch social entrepreneurs by connecting them with the right community of investors- those who understand the challenges in these sectors, who want to see outcomes improve, and who are looking for financial as well as social and environmental returns.
WeSparkt recently launched to bring this vision to life. We believe that the dynamics are changing for getting social impact startups off of the ground. Large communities can support these entrepreneurs in new ways that will make the world a better place. We’re proud to help lead the movement. Follow us at @wesparkt and register at www.wesparkt.com to see how you can make an impact.