Pitch perfect: how impact entrepreneurs can wow investors
Forget ‘one size fits all’. The best funding appeals are tailored to their audience
To solve our greatest social and environmental challenges, we need to make more capital impact capital, and more stakeholders impact stakeholders. We teamed up with Financial Times to show that all investors can be impact investors.
FT’s special report looks at funds that put social pay-offs first — from greener energy in Nigeria to new jobs in the UK. Plus: pharma’s funding gap, biodiversity credits, and faith-based finance.
When launching Sierra Leone-based start-up Easy Solar, Alexandre Tourre and his co-founders had to scramble for funds. “We were entering business plan competitions and going to hackathons,” he recalls. Now, after several successful funding rounds securing both debt and equity financing, he says investors still hear one message — how affordable clean energy changes lives in low-income communities in Africa — but the pitches are carefully tailored to different audiences.
This is because today’s impact investors come in many shapes and sizes: from institutional investors and fund managers to development finance institutions, foundations and individual investors. And different investors have different approaches — whether that is chasing market-rate returns, or investing “patient capital” which has far longer time horizons and prioritises social impact over financial gain.