Raising Money For Startups & Getting A Jump On The Government

If you’re mixing social enterprise and regulatory change, the watchword is patience. Just ask Sang Lee. When the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS) was passed last year, Lee was as excited as anyone else who saw the potential for social enterprise startups to be able to tap a new source of financing–equity crowdfunding from both accredited and non-accredited investors. But he also knew, even after it became official, real implementation wouldn’t happen overnight. In fact, the former investment banker started his own social enterprise, New York-based Return on Change, an online funding platform for-profit high-impact startups–that includes cleantech and social enterprises, among others–in 2011, well before it was even clear that a law would ever be enacted at all. His plan: Start a web site for listing companies looking for funding, but do so assuming a law would be passed and, even after passage, would take a long time really to take effect. Plus, like many others in the funding side of social enterprise, he knew that many likely startups would be far from ready for prime-time, thanks to their tendency to focus more on their particular cause than the business side of things. As a result, he would need to work […]

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