One of the greatest challenges cited by early-stage social entrepreneurs is the ability to find investors and secure financing to support their ventures. NESsT's own research has highlighted how this gap in funding is limiting the potential of many social enterprises to grow and scale in emerging market countries.
NESsT directly invests in and collaborates closely with the enterprises in its portfolio to prepare them to gain funding with co-investors, including coaching them on pitching investors, helping prepare financial statements and investment briefs, and connecting the leadership teams directly with potential investors.
Thirteen Investor Meetings, Invaluable Networking
This fall, NESsT hosted several promising social enterprises from South America at the SOCAP15 conference in San Francisco. The conference is the annual gathering of the Social Capital Markets, a network of organizations dedicated to increasing the flow of capital to effect social good.
Supported by grants from PIMCO and the Lemelson Foundation, NESsT covered the travel expenses for the leadership teams of Laboratoria and X-Runner from Peru and for Você Aprende Agora from Brazil to attend SOCAP15.
- Laboratoria empowers young women from low-income backgrounds by giving them access to education, work and job placement in the digital sector.
- X-Runner provides a waterless toilet solution and weekly pick-up service for poor urban households with no access to water or to the city’s sewers.
- Você Aprende Agora teaches basic to advanced English through free short videos available on its website, targeted at students at the base of the pyramid.
The NESsT team scheduled meetings with potential investors and made valuable introductions that may result in additional funding for the enterprises.
"SOCAP is a conference where there are many meetings happening outside of the panels, and that's where you need to be," shared Rodulfo Prieto, co-founder of Laboratoria. "That's where NESsT has been really helpful. Coming from Latin America with just a year and a half in the space, it's been really great to have a partner like NESsT to enable those meetings to happen. We had several strong meetings, and we believe that something will grow from those relationships."
How You Can Help
Your support allows NESsT to support high-impact social enterprises across Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Donate to NESsT today, and help us connect social entrepreneurs with the investments they need to help their businesses grow and to improve the lives of people in their communities.