Fall 2009 MBA Course

B9455-017: Financing Social Ventures: Risk Capital for Expansion

W - B Term, 02:15PM to 05:30PM

Location: URI 332

Instructor: Rick Larson

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Impact Investing and Social Entrepreneurship are both “works in progress.” This course focuses on how the search for expansion capital by social entrepreneurs is playing out at the deal level. What challenges do social entrepreneurs face as they search for growth capital? Who are the investors and what do they seek in terms of return and social/environmental impact? What equity and debt structures are available to social ventures (both non-profit and for-profit)? How do they differ from conventional investments? Finally, how are these financing options affected by innovative corporate structures (e.g., B-Corp, L3C) and Impact Investment metrics (e.g., GIIRS)?

Students explore these questions by looking at specific examples of domestic and international social ventures that need risk capital to grow. Through class assignments and contact with practitioners, every student will understand the existing capital opportunities for non-profit and for-profit social ventures and how impact investments are structured.

This course is designed for MBA students who seek to understand the forms of risk capital available to grow social ventures “to scale,” because they plan to: (a) pursue social entrepreneurship as a career; b) pursue a career in impact investing; or (c) support social ventures at some point in their career as board members, investors, or advisors. Students with venture capital experience are welcome but may find some material repetitive.

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Rick Larson

Adjunct Associate Professor

Rick Larson is Director of Sustainable Ventures for The Conservation Fund (TCF www.conservationfund.org), a national non-profit with a unique dual mission of land & water conservation and economic development. Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Mr. Larson serves as NC Program Director of Natural Capital Investment Fund (www.ncifund.org), a TCF affiliate and CDFI that provides subordinated debt and equity to companies...

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