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Social enterprises and their innovations are instrumental in helping address the toughest global development challenges. But every social entrepreneur will agree that no matter what their social enterprise focuses on, where they are implementing it or what stage they are in, there is one challenge they all find to be extremely painful — fundraising. As one entrepreneur put it: “Finding funding is just a rat race.”
In fact, in our survey of 180 social entrepreneurs, close to 80 percent reported fundraising as their biggest pain point. In follow-up interviews, we asked 20 social entrepreneurs from various countries how they would rate fundraising on a scale of 1-5 (5 being excruciatingly painful). On average, they rated it 4.5.
We wanted to know what made the fundraising process so painful for them. Over the course of several months, we interviewed various social entrepreneurs who shared common pain points at the various stages of the fundraising process, including finding funding, determining which opportunities were worth applying to, and spending too much time actually applying.