Crowdfunding has become a popular way for new business ventures to raise capital. Small business owners in developing countries (and a few areas of the United States) can raise money through Kiva. Artists, designers, filmmakers and other creative types can use Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. Teachers and schools can use DonorsChoose.org. Journalists and news publishers are using Spot.us. A new company, StartSomeGood, wants to bring crowdfunding to social entrepreneurs.
StartSomeGood’s founders – Alex Budak, Bryan Parker, Skot Carruth, Emerson Taymor and Tom Dawkins – are creating a platform specifically to help entrepreneurs who want to launch a new company focused on social change. In addition to allowing social entrepreneurs to raise money for startup costs, social entrepreneurs will also be able to raise money on an ongoing basis for new projects and ideas.
The team at StartSomeGood are also including a way for entrepreneurs to raise “intellectual capital”. Budak said, “We provide a platform to connect them with supporters who want to provide professional services — such as volunteer graphic design or pro-bono legal work.”
StartSomeGood is also hoping that the power of the crowd will help create a network effect and that individual investors who are interested in one business will also be interested in helping to fund other similar social enterprises. To help make sure that potential companies are social enterprises, StartSomeGood has recruited a team of Mobilizers that will need to approve any company that wants to list a project on the website.
Ultimately, StartSomeGood would like to apply for B Lab certification and become a registered B Corp. Even without that the official recognition, StartSomeGood plans to consider ” the interests of our community and environment in our decision making.” Even though that the crowdfunding space has many creating new companies, Budak said:
“StartSomeGood is motivated by our mission to empower everyone to improve the world through access to social entrepreneurship and the opportunity to make good things happen. We seek to lower the barriers of entry to doing good, and have begun this process by connecting social entrepreneurs with financial and intellectual capital. That said, there still a number of hurdles that exist, and we are interested in doing all that we can to empower people to start good.”
The site is currently using another crowdfunding site, IndieGoGo, to raise money to help build the website and plan to launch in February, 2011 to begin allowing social enterprises to raise capital. There are still a few days to help StartSomeGood on IndieGoGo and you can follow its future progress on its website or via Twitter at @StartSomeGood.
Photo credit: via Flickr by Jo Jakeman