It has become increasingly clear that traditional approaches to social and environmental development are not producing the desired outcomes. As many non-profits and charities have discovered, good intentions do not necessarily translate into effective results, and the world is realizing the necessity of creative solutions to institutional challenges. One creative yet pragmatic option is social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs operate financially sustainable for- and non-profit organizations that apply market-based solutions to societal issues to create positive impact. The Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund (YSI-CF) is a revenue-generating non-profit that supports young social entrepreneurs that live by the triple bottom line and whose ventures are measured along three different metrics: financial, social, and environmental.
YSI-CF is confident in the potential and passion of young social entrepreneurs, and it is this belief that has inspired YSI-CF to fund young social entrepreneurs ages 18-35 who operate financially solvent ventures with quantifiable positive social and environmental impact. Since many of the young social entrepreneurs who apply to YSI-CF are relatively inexperienced and lack the necessary collateral to secure financing through traditional mediums, YSI-CF offers an alternative option that includes debt financing and a system of soft support. This includes access to mentorship, networks, and other valuable resources that encourage successful organizational growth.
YSI-CF not only supports young social entrepreneurs but also recognizes that impact investors seek market opportunities with quantifiable financial, social, and environmental rewards. These are the unique investors YSI-CF targets for investment dollars. The flow of YSI-CF investment capital is cyclical: investors loan their capital to YSI-CF, who then disburse the capital in the form of loans to young social entrepreneurs. Principal loans, plus interest, are repaid to YSI-CF. The initial investment is redistributed, in addition to the agreed-upon interest to the investors at the time of maturity. As the facilitator of this process, YSI-CF not only connects impact investors with triple bottom line investment opportunities but also develops the necessary infrastructure to support young social entrepreneurs.
YSI-CF is on track to achieving its vision of connecting impact investors and young social entrepreneurs to drive the creation of sustainable social and environmental value. YSI-CF is proud to announce its inaugural loan to young social entrepreneur Ilana Ben-Ari, and her venture, Twenty One Toys – a toy creation company re-imagining toys as tools for social, organizational, and educational change. Twenty One Toys is a financially sustainable venture with a positive and quantifiable impact that allows investors to earn triple bottom line returns. It is through investments similar to the one in Twenty One Toys that YSI-CF helps safely and successfully grow social enterprises that act as catalysts for making the world a better place, in a creatively pragmatic fashion.
Written by Jory Cohen, Managing Director