Finance is the fuel required to propel your social enterprise forward. You may need outside finance from a bank or social lender to:
- Get things off the ground if you are starting something new.
- Maintain positive cash flow to deliver a service, finance a contract, or cover costs.
- Scale-up to take on more services, bigger contracts, or reach more people.
Improve your long-term financial stability by buying an asset.
Fortunately, there is an increasing variety of social investment options available to help you achieve social impact - loans, equity finance, bonds, and more. There’s a lot to think about though. Taking on investment is not suitable for every organization or in all circumstances. By taking on investment, you are taking on risk. Remember, (in most cases) the money is repayable.
You also need to be ready with the right structure, skills, and business model to attract investors. The more you can prepare, the more likely you are to secure funding and the less likely to run into problems later.
Developed in partnership with leading social finance intermediaries including Vancity Community Foundation, Verge Capital and SVX, this program has been designed to help social sector organizations get investment-ready.
Through a series of 8 online courses, the program provides all of the information, insights and tools you will need to get ready for investment:
1. SOCIAL FINANCE 101
Taking outside investment may be an unfamiliar concept to you, or a complicated one at best. Learn all the basics of social finance, including about the main sources of finance, what they can be used for, and who supplies them.
2. DETERMINING YOUR FINANCIAL NEEDS
Nearly every business has to raise money at some point. Learn how to figure out how much money you will need, the size and timing of the raise, the most suitable sources of funding, and which investment strategy is right for you.
3. FEASIBILITY MODELLING
Before approaching an investor, you will need to demonstrate the viability of your business idea. Learn how to quickly consider all of the essential elements that impact financial feasibility, and build a simple model to validate assumptions.
4. COMPLETING A FEASIBILITY MODEL
Before asking for investment in your business, you must ensure the numbers stack up. Learn how to combine market data with accurate modelling to see if your project makes sense, given your market and circumstances.
5. PRESENTING THE FINANCIAL DATA
The financial data that you produce is only as good as the use you put it to. Find out how to analyse data from your financial model, how to present it, and how to use it to make your case for investment.
6. DEMONSTRATING SOCIAL IMPACT TO INVESTORS
Social investors give money because they want social return, as well as financial return, and they need to be confident you can deliver both. Find out how investors assess impact and how you can produce a credible impact plan to satisfy them.
7. REFINING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL AND PLAN
A carefully crafted business plan will help you explain to investors how you will use the money and how you will repay it. Learn how to assess your business model and strengthen your business plan based on investors’ most common requirements.
8. TAKING ON AN INVESTMENT
Before investing, an investor will really do their homework. Brace yourself. Learn more about the deal room documentation you will need to collect, how you can deliver the perfect pitch, and how to prepare for negotiating final terms.
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