Crossing the chasm (and a call to arms from our readers)
A well-documented and commented funding gap, or to be dramatic, a 'chasm' exists in the UK social investment market. This chasm is widest for those social entrepreneurs looking to raise between £50,000-£250,000 of growth capital for their fledgling enterprises.
All other problems and complexities aside (of which there are many) this particular problem, in my humble opinion, must be addressed in order to support a balanced development of the wider social investment sector. Many of the small social ventures that will attract, and can be helped to attract, seed and early stage capital (often from angel investors) will go on to flourish and garner the interest of social impact funds and other investors with larger pockets, and a smaller appetite for risk.
In this context, the launch of the new and improved Big Venture Challenge could not be more timely or relevant to many of the social entrepreneurs who knock on our doors.
Funded by Big Lottery Fund, and run by UnLtd with the support of SIB Group, The Shaftesbury Partnership, and ClearlySo; The Big Venture Challenge is an intensive 12 month programme designed to help ambitious social entrepreneurs raise external investment (debt or equity) of between £50,000 to £250,000 to scale their venture.
1) Do you know someone driven to fix at scale a social problem they see in society?
2) Are they are ambitious, persistent and offering innovative ideas for change on a national or international basis?
3) Do they need acceleration, connections and investment to grow their venture?
If you know someone that fits this description (or this describes YOU!), please have a look at The Big Venture Challenge website, forward on to your networks, and help us spread the word. Applications close on February 8th and you can apply directly here.
Many thanks, Simon