Note from Editors:
Entrepreneurs that factored in social good in their startups go to investors with this mindset for funding. However, they should also start influencing investors with opposite mindset – only profits. Startup #entrepreneur pitched Vitiliglow to VCs in Dragon’s Den – and got Dragon Sarah Willingham’s nod for £40,000 #investment for 40% of her #business, and intrigued another Dragon lady.
by Alison Coleman
Entrepreneurs are often told to think more socially. It’s what consumers increasingly want to see in the brands they buy from.
For some a social conscience is integral to their business blueprint. For others, it’s something they factor in their growth strategy. Will it influence the people who have the investment capital they need for that growth?
On a recent episode of Dragons Den in the UK, entrepreneur Polly Gotschi’s pitched her product Vitiliglow, a cover-up makeup product for sufferers of vitiligo, a condition that causes large white patches on the skin. She secured a deal with Dragon Sarah Willingham who offered £40,000 investment for 40% of her business, but not before an intriguing interaction with Willingham’s fellow Dragon Deborah Meadon.
Meadon liked Gotschi’s product and was impressed with her pitch, but not by her social consciousness – she planned to give some of her profits away to vitiligo charities – which she felt would create conflict when the business expanded commercially.
What does this mean for entrepreneurs who want to do good, but need funding from #angels and VCs who see a social conscience as impeding their financial return?
“It is a very complex situation,” says Dr Richard Fairchild, who researches social entrepreneurship and the psychological conflicts between commercial and social returns at the University of Bath in the UK.
Note: Featured Image credit to farm9.static.flickr.com