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A stumbling block to growth trips up companies trying to do good – Thomson Reuters

Growing up is hard to do. For businesses that aim do good as well as make profit, it’s a sentiment they are all too familiar with.

There is a vast array of philanthropic grants, investment funds,and incubators offering capital and support to get social enterprises off the ground.

But once established, these businesses often struggle to scale up: too small to get investment from larger commercial banks or strategic investors, yet too big to receive startup capital.

This hinterland is known as “the missing middle” and it is a problem social entrepreneurs around the world face.

“I’m the living example of the missing middle,” Kibret Abebe, founder of Tebita, a private ambulance service in Ethiopia, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Abebe sold his house and car to get enough money to start his social enterprise 11 years ago and received funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) to grow it.

Read the full article here: http://news.trust.org/item/20190218135215-t1bw4/