Return on Change: A New Type of Impact Investment
The Jobs Act has disrupted the way startup finance in America is conducted, and while plenty of funding platforms have surfaced since its passage, very few focus on mission-based enterprises. It is apparent that social entrepreneurs lacking access to support structures need to be able to leverage this new method of raising investments now more than ever. It is also apparent that those at the other end of the capital-raising equation—investors—are just as influential in catalyzing social change as the ventures they support.
Return on Change is an online funding platform that acts as a connector between such investors and entrepreneurs focused on creating innovative remedies to social problems. Our objective is to empower talent by breaking through traditional modes of funding, facilitating the social innovation of others, and providing entrepreneurs with a much-needed, alternate method of financing their ideas. As the internet and social media have become the foremost powerful tools of communication, startup companies are now able to utilize new capital-raising techniques to issue securities online and create conduits for viral growth. This ethos has shaped the services we provide, and we assist U.S. and international startups in the cleantech, medtech, technology, edtech, and social venture industries by connecting them with passionate investors who understand the value of sustainable investment practices.
It is also in this spirit that we are hosting a networking event September in New York City that focuses on the burgeoning impact investing phenomenon. The night will feature a guest speaker to share valuable insights into an exciting new industry as well as several impact startups that will showcase their businesses throughout the evening. We’ve received numerous applications from remarkable companies, such as an online platform that helps anyone around the globe pursue a graduate degree in a foreign country and a for-profit farmland company that positively impacts local, organic, and sustainable agriculture.
Unfortunately, companies such as these are often ignored. Prevailing principles of conventional investing dictate that the value of a business idea is contingent on its ability to produce swift financial gains. We need to dash these traditional modes of thinking and promote the merits of multiple bottom line investing. Impact investing requires a certain level of foresight that allows its practitioner to see beyond short-term monetary gains. It is also a practice that, when widely adopted, determines the kinds of companies that flourish, get funded, and proliferate. And we want the right companies, the ones that will positively impact the future and the world in which we live, to flourish.
This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress. Photo courtesy of Center for Social Innovation