Top 5 Venture Capital Firms: Funding Social Missions

In recent years, a new breed of venture capital firms has emerged to
make an impact beyond just profitability. Social venture capital funds
are adding a new mission in combination with positive financial
returns: social and environmental impact. Highlighting social venture
funds across the world, this week’s top five will focus on VC
portfolios that range from organic beverages to water purification
systems in Rajasthan to fiber optic enterprises making energy companies
more efficient.


1. The Acumen Fund

With the mission of reducing world poverty, the New York City-based
venture capital fund invests in enterprises that improve the lives of
those in developing nations. With branches in India, Kenya and
Pakistan, the Acumen Fund has global reach and supports entrepreneurs
through its vast network. The unique characteristic of the Acumen Fund
is they are non-profit. They take an entrepreneurial approach to
solving poverty by way of support programs that focus on health, water,
housing and energy. Through their innovative, entrepreneurial approach,
they can build a solid business framework to combat widespread poverty
in developing nations.Aqua-Aero Water System is an Acumen Fund-sponsored company that recently provided drinking water for remote, arid regions of Rajasthan.

2. Good Capital

This San Francisco-based VC firm invests in social enterprises that
create social equity. In essence, they are the bridge between
philanthropy and traditional investing. Highlights of their portfolio
include Adina’s World Beat Beverages, a fair trade and organic beverage
provider that gathers flavors from around the world to create “drink no
evil” beverages. In addition to their social entrepreneurs, Good
Capital has numerous projects to support education, financial support
and engagement, such as their involvement inSoCap—a conference for social enterprises to share and build relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs and VC firms.

3. Underdog Ventures

Bridging philanthropy and profitable enterprise, this Vermont-based
venture capital firm is heavily invested and wildly passionate about
socially responsible investing. The key element…