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Resources for Social Entrepreneurs

Below are some resources to support early-stage and social entrepreneurs as you ideate, pilot, and iterate your creative solutions.

Ideation & Design Phase

Business Modeling & Scaling
  • Y Combinator, a seed stage accelerator for startups, has a large Startup Library featuring resources to help companies launch, avoid common pitfalls, and scale successfully. 
  • StartupWave’s Startup Garage is a virtual incubation platform that has been built as an infrastructure for the Indian startup incubation ecosystem, conceptualized by Intellecap. The lessons, however, are universal to ventures across the globe. 
  • MIT Practical Impact Alliance published a practical tool to assess your social business on the NextBillion blog. Check out their Ready, Steady, Scale! tool for best practices in growing your social enterprise.
  • Village Capital’s Talent Playbook – a resource designed for start-up CEOs on how to hire, onboard, and build effective teams, as human capital is the most important and challenging factor for early-stage companies; can be downloaded here.
  • Download a free PDF of the book When Coffee and Kale Compete to explore the Jobs to be Done framework for innovation, product development, and go-to-market strategy to help you become great at making products people will buy. 
  • Seedstars, a global venture capital fund and accelerator, has published 5 Simple Mistakes Startups can Avoid when Measuring KPIs and Being a Better Leader: 5 Skills Founders have to Learn to Survive Their First Year.


**Database of capital providers for female founders, accelerators and educational programs, and resources for entrepreneurs consolidated by the Fearless Fund

The Process for Raising Capital

Strengthening Your Investment Readiness
  • Y Combinator, a seed stage startup accelerator, has developed this list of 40 Questions to Crash-Test your Startup to better position you to pitch to investors. 
  • Village Capital has launched a platform to help social entrepreneurs connect with investors and build a roadmap for scaling your company. Take a free 10-min quiz to explore your company’s investment-readiness and track your progress milestones through their Abaca platform.
  • Investor Screening Questions - a list of vetting questions drafted by an early-stage impact investor (as often the same questions arise when reviewing company pitches); a good challenge for your company is to answer as many of these vetting questions as possible/relevant to prepare to speak confidently with potential investors. Note: not all questions are relevant to every company.

Insider Stories from Enterprises & Investors
  • Finding Impact Podcast – Weekly interviews by Andy Narracott with strategies and practical advice from fellow entrepreneurs to help you scale your social enterprise; over 100 episodes currently available for free on their website.
  • Gray Matters Capital’s coLABS, an early-stage gender lens global portfolio, shares their portfolio companies’ learnings: Learning Report on Customer Engagement 
  • Agruppa, a Colombian startup that recently closed its doors, shares a candid reflection on their journey to raise capital and advice for other startup entrepreneurs: “When a good value proposition is not good enough