Social entrepreneurs seeking growth funding often get caught up in the culture of venture capital--they position their enterprise as a rocket business, look for a miracle angel investor, and start giving away equity. They're not thinking about how the investors will get their money back, or whether other options might better support their goals.
“The four leggeds came before the two leggeds. They are our older brother, we came from them. Before them, we were the root people. We came from them. We are the same thing. That is why we are spiritually related to them. We call them in our language “Tatanka,” which means “He Who Owns Us.” We cannot say that we own the buffalo because he owns us.1
In South Dakota, on the 1,900 square miles of the Rosebud Reservation, the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) is working to address high rates of poverty and unemployment and pervasive food insecurity. To support their campaign to increase access to fresh, local foods, REDCO received a RSF Seed Fund grant in 2014 towards the establishment of a community garden and farmers’ market.
As part of our campaign to add 25 social enterprise stars to our loan portfolio over the next year, we’re looking for new borrowers in all three of our focus areas: Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship. These are broad categories, but because it’s not always obvious whether an enterprise is a fit for us we’ll delve into what we look for in each area over the next three months. Up this month: Education & the Arts.
What kind of education is needed for forming the minds, hearts, and hands of the next generation who will have to cope with and transform the ecological, social, and economic issues of today, issues that transcend political boundaries, cultural constructs, and economic realities?
What would it look like if everyone were doing the work they loved, what they felt called to do?
This is the driving question behind the research and development of Mutual Aid Networks (MANs), a project of Dane County TimeBank which was supported in 2014 by the RSF Social Finance (RSF) Seed Fund with a grant of $2,500.
Shared Gifting program spurs collaborations, highlights arts service organizations’ support needs
SAN FRANCISCO, February 26, 2015 /3BL Media/ - RSF Social Finance (RSF) is pleased to announce that it has allocated $50,000 in grant funding to six arts service organizations in Los Angeles County. The funding shines a light on a pioneering model of grantmaking, called Shared Gifting, as well as indicates the need for continued support of the groups that work backstage to keep art communities vibrant.