I volunteer some of my time to Echoing Green, who provide seed funding and support to social entrepreneurs. EG’s approach is to find social entrepreneurs who take a businesslike approach to building sustainable organizations aimed at creating social change. I met them a few years ago and they asked me to be a reader: to rate several of the business plans the social entrepreneurs submit.
I love EG’s mission and I’m impressed with their vetting process. But mostly I am impressed with the plans I read. Most of them are better thought out than the business plans I see from for-profit startups. But the thing that really amazes me in every plan I read is the quality of the entrepreneurs. The people starting these organizations are, to a person, the kind of people that should be backed. They are smart, they know their market, they know their customer, they have vision and, most of all, they are driven to make their ideas real.
The only hard part about the process is knowing that at the end only a couple of these entrepreneurs will be funded. I wish them all success.