Access to capital is a major challenge for social organizations and impact-oriented businesses. The first step for social entrepreneurs and innovative initiatives is to identify where they are within the ecosystem to seek the right kind of funding for their maturity stage. Leonardo Letelier, CEO of SITAWI, spoke on the theme at the Social Innovation Seminar, held by Oi Futuro in Rio de Janeiro. The event, held on July 18, marked the launch of their Social Innovation Lab, Labora. Keep reading.
“There is a very large disparity between the expectations of entrepreneurs and investors. On the one hand, social initiatives need funding to consolidate; on the other, investors are looking for deals “ready” to allocate capital” commented Leonardo. “It is therefore important that entrepreneurs identify not only the stage they are in, but also the type of venture they are building, in order to request the right kind of capital from the right organization,” he said, referring to the spectrum below that shows the types of organizations, revenues, their intentions and potential restrictions on the distribution of dividends, when they exist.
The discussion was mediated by the journalist Flávia Oliveira, and also included Rita Afonso, from the Faculty of Administration and Accounting Sciences, who spoke about her experience in academia and shared stories of innovation in low income communities; and Carolina Aranha, who brought an analysis of the results of the first Social Impact Business Map carried out by Pipe.Social.
The event, held on July 18, marked the launch of Labora, Laboratório de Inovação Social, an initiative by Oi Futuro. The initiative is proposed as a point of connection, learning, and co-creation for organizations and social entrepreneurs committed to transforming impact. Labora offers incubation and acceleration programs for projects and social businesses in different phases of maturity and entrepreneurial profile. The objective is to boost the development of impact solutions for the problems of cities.
“We have evolved into a model of training and strengthening collaborative networks of social entrepreneurs,” explains Carla Uller, manager of Education and Social Innovation at Oi Futuro. “We want to promote connections between filmmakers, investors, spaces, and technologies,” he concluded.
At the meeting, the social businesses selected by the program, with the technical support of Yunus Social Business, were announced. Labora aims to support the strategic management of and bring innovation to socio-cultural initiatives, in partnership with the Ekloos Institute and the State Department of Culture of Rio de Janeiro.