Case Number: 5-310-508(B), Year Published: 2010
HBS Number: KEL527
Impact Investing, Socially Responsible Investing, Social Venture Capital, Social Finance, Assessing Investments, Investment Strategy
The purpose of this case is to introduce the topic of socially responsible investing from both the investor and investee perspective. The students will walk away with an understanding of: 1) how to evaluate a portfolio company on a social/environmental mission as well as on traditional financial criteria and 2) what considerations should be top of mind for a social venture considering accepting an equity investment. Wes Selke is a portfolio manager at Good Capital, an investment fund created to increase the flow of capital to innovative non- and for-profit social ventures that are using market-based solutions to solve problems of poverty, illiteracy, and inequality. In 2007, Good Capital is ready to make its first growth equity investment in a for-profit social enterprise and Selke is considering Better World Books as the firm’s primary target. Selke must evaluate whether or not the firm is a financially sound investment, and if its social and environmental mission can be preserved upon a liquidation event. If Good Capital proceeds with the investment, Selke must also rework some of Better World Books’ current procedures, which includes fine-tuning the philanthropic giving strategy that is the main component of its social mission.
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