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Social Entrepreneur

328 EpisodesProduced by Tony LoydWebsite

Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.


074, Founding and Funding, Part 3 | Sonja Rossteuscher, Triple S Advisory & Consulting

Today’s founding and funding series dives into the area of funding a social venture. I am honored to be joined today by Sonja Rossteuscher of Triple S Advisory & Consulting. Having served as the Chief Financial Officer of the African Development Corporation, Sonja brings a great deal of experience in funding social enterprises at all stages of growth.

Sonja took the time today to answer several questions today. In fact, I almost called this episode, “Everything you wanted to know about funding your social venture, but were afraid to ask.” Here are some questions that she tackles:

  • What are some forms of funding that social entrepreneurs can consider? (6:32)
  • What is the difference between an angel investor and a venture capitalist? How do I think differently about an angel investor and a venture capital fund and what they might need? (9:09)
  • When should a startup founder NOT seek capital? What are some pitfalls when seeking capital? (11:30)
  • What is equity and what is dilution? (13:58)
  • Before approaching investors, what should a social entrepreneur have accomplished? (15:49)
  • As a social entrepreneur, how do I find a potential investor? What if I don’t know any angels or VCs? (19:17)
  • What are some common mistakes entrepreneurs make when approaching potential investors? What is the right way to approach an investor? (21:52)
  • Any tips on pitching? (25:39)
  • Other advice to aspiring social entrepreneurs hoping to fund a company? (29:05)

Social Entrepreneurship Funding Quotes from Sonja Rossteuscher:

“We’re looking at 70% of startup funding in Europe is coming from people’s own savings.”

“There is a difficult size to fund too because you might be too big for some people but too small for other institutions.”

“Particularly in the space of smaller institutions or larger angel investors at family offices, they want to see more proof of concept. They want to see that your business model has been de-risked.”

“I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as a free lunch. That’s exactly what it looks like when you get investors on board.”

“There’s a company that made an app called Yo. You write Yo and someone else can respond Yo. And they raised a million dollars.”

“It’s easy to ignore an email. It’s not so easy when you have them on the phone.”

“Take the time to figure out which investors care about the pain you’re trying to solve.”

“You have to be ready to hear a lot of no’s.”

“There is a certain amount of shaping of your message that you can do, while being true to yourself.”

“When you’re doing a sales pitch, you’re selling yourself, your business and your idea. The best way to do that is to tell a story.”

“It’s really important that the founders, or the people pitching, have the right balance of quiet confidence and enthusiasm.”

“Focus on the business of your company if you care about the impact of your company.”

Mentoring Giveaway:

Throughout the month of April, we’re giving away ten one-on-one mentoring calls to help you launch or grow your social enterprise. We’ll be drawing each week. To enter, go to

Social Entrepreneurship Funding Resources:

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