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Bridging Gaps: Impact Investors and Social Energy Enterprises

Posted By Lauren Farello, Aspen Institute, Monday, December 28, 2015

Social enterprises cut across different sectors such as agriculture, energy, water/sanitation, health, education and so on. The nature of their missions leads to operations in extremely challenging environments. Despite varied sectoral differences, these organizations work in a nascent arena balancing socio-commercial objectives and therefore experience similar obstacles that are well documented such as high operating costs, scarcity of trained human resources, constrained access to capital, dearth of processes that transition grassroots R&D to practical adoption, end user financing, illdefined standards of impact assessment, conflicting expectations of scale, stifling domestic policies and a host of other issues related to an underdeveloped ecosystem.

This paper addresses one critical aspect of that ecosystemaccess to enterprise financing- and was borne out of a largely shared viewpoint by social enterprises that although there has been a widespread effort to capture the difficulties in accessing capital, there is limited insight into expectation gaps between the investment and practitioner community. While the impact investment market has enormous potential, there is a considerable amount of hype over the subject. The market is not ready to absorb commercial capital on the scale talked about and expected widespread profits and returns are probably some time away and in many cases will never be along the lines expected.

Read the full report here >>>

 

Tags:  energy  environment  sector publication  social enterprise 

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