Mission Throttle Offers Support for Social EntrepreneursBy Amanda Lewan on May 13th, 2014 /
What are we doing to move our society forward with business? Many believe social entrepreneurship, the blending of business models focused with social good, will move us forward in a great direction.
Mission Throttle looks to uplift and support social entrepreneurship in Michigan. The impact investing consulting firm based in Southfield provides early stage funding of up to $50k — $250k for social entrepreneurs.
We’ve heard terms like social entrepreneur and impact investing before, but what exactly do they mean? Why is it important to support these businesses in Michigan? Maria DeLorenzo of Mission Throttle shared with us some insight on exactly what this type of investment is and what it can do for entrepreneurship in Michigan.
1. How would you define “impact investing”? How is this different from other types of investment?
“Impact investing is the placement of capital into mission-driven organizations (non-profit or for-profit) that use business strategies to generate sustainable, measurable social or environmental impact alongside financial returns. It provides a third option for financing social impact between the 100% financial loss of a donation and a market rate return on a conventional investment.
Impact investing accelerates positive change by tapping into the huge pool of capital currently invested globally in conventional portfolios. Even devoting just a fraction of that capital will make a marked difference in our communities.”
2. What is an example of an impact investment that you’ve made in Michigan?
“Our local investments include CrowdRise (based in Detroit), a crowdfunding platform that accelerates donative cash flow for existing non-profits and excites the public to rally behind important causes in their local communities and beyond.”
Check out CrowdRise here.
3. How much seed funding do you offer for startups? How could a local startup apply?
“Mission Throttle invests between $50k — $250k in social enterprises that have moved beyond the concept stage and are seeking capital to launch and grow their businesses. In certain circumstances, Mission Throttle will act as a lead investor to aggregate a larger investment. Startup social enterprises can inquire about investment/submit a business plan to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
4. Do you have any advice for startups looking for funding?
“Social enterprises interested in receiving investments should take time to develop strategies and goals that are not only meaningful, but achievable. Mission Throttle looks for Michigan-based startups that:
- Have a primary service/product targeting a key social or environmental issue
- Have clearly defined social outcomes and performance metrics
- Have a strong product/service capable of delivering a financial return
- Focus on systemic change.”