Jason Graham-Nye, founder and CEO of gDiapers, an early U.S. certified B corporation that offers families an eco-friendly baby diaper, knows that, for many mission-driven companies, finding aligned capital can be difficult. He realized that there was a huge gap in information for new entrepreneurs who were looking to raise capital where alignment with B Corporation criteria is crucial. This is exactly why he finds CASE Smart Impact Capital, the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship’s (CASE) online toolkit for raising impact investing capital, so valuable.
“I love that CASE gives power back to the entrepreneur from the first module to the last,” said Graham-Nye, who is currently using the program to teach a cohort as the Impact Entrepreneur in Residence at iAccelerate at the University of Wollongong in Australia. “As the program highlights, the entrepreneur’s most valuable asset is time and so remembering to manage your time and avoid going on wild goose chases meeting any and all investors, is one the biggest and most important lessons.”
Recently, CASE offered six-month access to CASE Smart Impact Capital to entrepreneurs for free as part of its COVID-19 response. During the two-week period that CASE was offering free sign-up for the toolkit, nearly 1,250 people registered for access. Since the offer, over 3,000 people have learned about impact investment capital marketplace through the program’s free Impact Capital 101 Supply and Demand video, familiarly known among Duke students as the butterfly video, that introduces how impact and financial value is created and communicated across the value chain of the impact investing market.
“As we are Australian-based, I adjusted the first module to suit the Australian context in terms of sources of capital, but there is enormous value in every module,” said Graham-Nye. “The investor and connector tracker is really valuable and the financial modelling and stress test modules are so clever. There is incredible value in everything, all the way down to the draft emails and interactive charts, which my classes love.”
In addition to making CASE Smart Impact Capital free for two weeks and seeing high usage and positive feedback, CASE created www.covidcap.com, a site to help entrepreneurs access global capital, in late March. Since its creation, the site has helped over 21,000 access over $1 trillion of cash relief resources globally and has led CASE to join the World Economic Forum/ Schwab Foundation’s COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs in order to support more of the world’s social entrepreneurs.
“We are thrilled that our tools are so valuable for entrepreneurs – especially in a time where entrepreneurs are having to make severe, important choices about how to stay afloat: whether to cut employees’ pay or time, pay rent, temporarily shut down, or permanently close,” said Cathy Clark, CASE’s Faculty Director. “Given our experience with impact entrepreneurs, we know we need to move fast. Today, we are releasing our third free online offering: a guide which integrates the tools of CASE Smart Impact Capital with the resources of covidcap.com to provide a one-stop place to go from ‘how do I survive’ to ‘I’ve got cash to grow.’ We hope it will help the thousands of impact entrepreneurs we’re seeing coming to both CASE Smart Impact Capital and covidcap.com to raise the right kinds of aligned cash that they need to sustain and grow their impact during this very difficult time.”
CASE’s new free online guide is called: How do I Raise Capital During COVID-19: An Online Guide to Making Fundraising Easier. It explores a three-step process for all entrepreneurs looking to raise capital during COVID-19, with tips and tools developed specifically for navigating fundraising during the crisis.
If you haven’t signed up yet, we’re making that easier, too. We’ve lowered our subscription rates for new subscribers to make our tools more accessible to entrepreneurs during this crisis. Individual licenses were $350 and are now $99 for users in developed markets and $29 for those in developing markets. And that’s for six months of access! Group licenses for 4 or more users cost even less:
From providing new information about how to fundraise during COVID-19, updating covidcap.com daily with new resources and coordinating with funders around the world as part of a new alliance, CASE is acting on its belief that it is now more important than ever to provide impact entrepreneurs with the resources, tools and information they need to scale their impact in vulnerable communities everywhere.