Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability
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Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability

Edited by Sabri Boubaker, Douglas Cumming and Duc K. Nguyen

The severe consequences of the global financial crisis 2008-2009 and numerous accounting frauds and financial scandals over the last fifteen years have let to calls for more ethical and responsible actions in all economic activities including consumption, investing, governance and regulation. Despite the fact that ethics in business and corporate social responsibility rules have been adopted in various countries, more efforts have to be devoted to motivate and empower more actors to integrate ethical behavior and rules in making business and managerial decisions. The Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability will provide the readers but particularly investors, managers, and policymakers with comprehensive coverage of the issues at the crossroads of finance, ethics and sustainable development as well as proposed solutions, while focusing on three different levels: corporations, investment funds, and financial markets.
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Chapter 20: Impact investing in social enterprises

Brian Bolton and Carolyn Niehaus


In May 2016, Regulation Crowdfunding gave startups and other companies the opportunity to access relatively small amounts of capital from public investors around the United States. This introduced a new avenue through which companies could raise money, different from restrictive bank loans and from large-scale public offerings. With issues limited to $1 000 000 and with investors limited to $10 000 each, this opportunity was unique in at least two ways. First, the small size of the offerings means that the greatest benefit will be for small, startup or non-traditional companies that may not have access to more traditional forms of capital. Second, the low investor limits indicate that much of the capital will come from crowds of relatively small retail investors and not from large foundations or institutional investors. The power of these crowds – large groups of individuals aligned by a purpose and connection to a cause – makes this investment opportunity different from existing opportunities. Because these crowds are aligned by common desires and goals, social enterprises have a unique opportunity to connect with the crowds and to access capital that might not otherwise be available to them if they weren’t focused on mission and impact. Regulation Crowdfunding provides the ideal platform for social enterprises to access capital they can use to scale their mission and operations and maximize the impact they make.

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