GLOSSARY

Accelerator
A business accelerator is intended to promote rapid growth of a start-up company. An accelerator is typically utilized after the initial stages of start-up incubation. The time frame is usually 3 to 6 months to address operational, strategic, and organizational challenges that a young business may face in transitioning to a mature company.
B corporation
A B corporation is a business that has been certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance, or sustainable responsible business/responsible business) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms, and sometimes goes beyond to support or achieve social good.
Crowd funding
The collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowd funding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, startup company funding, inventions development, scientific research, and civic projects.
Debt
An amount owed for funds borrowed. Generally, debt is secured by a note, bond, mortgage or other instrument that states the repayment and interest provisions.
Equity investment
An equity investment typically takes the form of an owner’s share in a for-profit business, and return on equity involves a share in the profits. An equity investment typically takes the form of ownership of a business entity, such as shares of stock, membership interest in an LLC, or a partnership interest in a limited partnership.
Hybrid
Is a term used to describe a security that combines elements of debt securities and equity securities. Hybrid securities typically promise to pay a rate of return (fixed or floating) until a certain date, in the same way debt securities do. However, they also have equity-like features that may provide a higher rate of return than regular debt securities.
Impact business
A financially-sustainable enterprise that operates with a social and/or environmental mission.
Impact investing
Our partner the Global impact Investing Network defines impact investing this way: Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances. Impact investors actively seek to place capital in businesses and funds that can harness the positive power of enterprise.
Intermediary
An organization that raises funds from depositors or investors, including individuals and organizations, and re-lends these funds to other individuals and organizations. Non-profit financial intermediaries raise funds through grants, program-related investments, and social investments and re-lend to non-profit or other organizations that will undertake projects such as affordable housing development or targeted business assistance.
Players
Players in our impact maps are people or organisations that have either made an impact investment in the past, or have seriously committed to making one in the near future
Social enterprise
A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders. Social enterprises can be structured as a for-profit, non-profit, or other new business form such as a B-Corporation.
Social entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurship is the process of pursuing innovative solutions to social problems. More specifically, social entrepreneurs adopt a mission to create and sustain social value.
Social impact bond
A social impact bond (SIB) is a new type of financing that includes a contract where payment from government agency is tied solely to outcomes. Generally the public agency has few other controls or restrictions on the provider. As currently deployed and designed … SIBs have three parties: the public agency payer contracting with a third party intermediary for payment based on outcomes. The intermediary contracts with a nonprofit service provider to deliver services and raises funds from investors. The intermediary contracts with the service provider with payment upfront for delivery of services and pays an incentive or bonus payment based on outcomes. The use of the word “bond” is actually a misnomer in this structure. The investment has more in common with venture capital that has a social value. (Nonprofits Assistance Fund, Minneapolis MN) SIBs are also known as Pay for Performance Bonds or Pay for Success Bonds. The Center for American Progress defines a social impact bond as “an arrangement between one or more government agencies and an external organization where the government specifies an outcome (or outcomes) and promises to pay the external organization a pre-agreed sum (or sums) if it is able to accomplish the outcome(s).”

Still looking for a term? We recommend you check out Mission Investors Exchange’s Glossary found here, or try a google search.

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