Published on November 29th, 2012 | by Jessy Troy1
Green Funding Explained (+ 4 Useful Resources)
In this day and age, the very word “green” is enough to excite businesses and investors alike, calling to mind products and services that are potentially profitable, while keeping the world and all of the life that lives upon it in mind at the same time. With the constant concern of melting polar ice, rising carbon dioxide levels, and all of the natural mayhem that promises to result from those problems, “green” is also proving to be a very useful tag to work with when it comes to marketing a startup idea to investors.
Whether you’re a potential investor looking for socially conscious projects to invest in, or an eco-friendly startup ready to happen, learn more about the concept of green funding — and how to get it for your big idea:
What is Green Funding?
Green funding refers to a mutual fund or other form of investment vehicle that allows its dollars to go only to businesses and products that are socially and ecologically responsible, or to directly promote a green theme such as recycling or general environmental responsibility (defenition is courtesy of cashprior.com).
This loose term covers investments both public and private that fit the criteria, including grants and support funds for businesses that primarily support green initiatives, such as alternative energy research, waste management, sustainable agriculture, and other niches.
Green Funding For You
Now that you’ve got a good handle on what exactly green funding is, you likely know whether or not it applies to your business, product, or service. If you think your business plan has what it takes to woo investment money that has been earmarked as green, here are four resources to get you moving in the right direction:
1. Green Unite
Connecting passionate thinkers and green-minded investors is the goal of GreenUnite, a crowdfunding platform very similar to that of the popular Kickstarter and IndieGogo. With a mission statement that focuses on its wish to see useful, eco-friendly products and technologies come to market, this is a great place for truly green businesses to find initial funding for their ideas!
Obviously not as busy as a more generalized crowdfunding platforms, GreenUnite will require more patience, but never forget that it has the ability to best connect you with not only investors, but with investors who share your passion, making it an invaluable tool for green products to get on their feet and off of the ground.
2. 33 Needs
Aiming to connect micro-investors with the minds behind smart, green initiatives, 33 Needs looks to serve only eco-friendly investment calls, making it a great place to start your search for green funding.
33 Needs is currently in a private beta phase, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of the platform today (if you’ve got a business plan ready) by visiting and signing up!
3. Green Funder
Similar to the sites listed above, notably Green Unite, Green Funder is another crowdsourcing website with a love for all things green, but it does offer a unique twist in its mission that promises to encompass more businesses and their products: Green Funder defines “green” as “anything with good intentions,” leaving the door wide open for a very wide range of products and services.
Given its wide umbrella, Green Funder is an excellent place for testing the waters with any number of products and business ideas — even non-profits are invited to search for funding. Like Kickstarter, all “investments” are actually donations, sometimes with benefits, allowing you to retain 100% ownership of your work while still getting the funds you need to get it off the ground.
While it’s not at all green-themed, Kickstarter is perhaps the largest and best-known crowdsourcing platforms online, making it a fantastic place to seek out funding of any color! Given the general pervasiveness of eco-friendly ideas, you’re sure to connect with many green-minded investors among Kickstarter’s millions of users, and the sheer amount of cash changing hands there makes it a must visit for any product or business idea in need!
Image Credit: Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)