The Urgency to Fund Early-stage Social Entrepreneurs
Society desperately needs new answers to its most challenging problems. Despite significant huge technological and scientific advances of recent decades, too few have found their way to the people and issues most in need. With the perspective of our venture capital legacy, we believe early-stage investments in social entrepreneurs are essential to creating profound and lasting change.
As Clay Christiansen and his colleagues wrote in their 2006 Harvard Business Review article, we see early-stage social enterprises as “catalytic innovators” that produce disruptive innovations primarily because they come from outside the ranks of the established players. But too little capital in the social sector is directed to these young efforts, with resources often flowing instead to more mature entities and supporting existing solutions, delivery models, and recipients. These legacy organizations often do great work in their targeted areas. But more innovation is needed—and needed now.