Our goal is to improve access to funding for founders bettering our world; this means creating opportunities and removing barriers to entry, in particular ones placed by banks, investors and other crowdfunding platforms that have overlooked founders of colour, social entrepreneurs and female founders again and again.
We have a general criteria that we look for when accepting campaigns, however, we encourage everyone to apply as we understand that all entrepreneurs are at different stages within their business, in particular businesses founded by entrepreneurs from underserved communities. If you don't feel confident about meeting our criteria, we may be able to help you get to a stage so that you're eligible for an UpEffect campaign.
We do things a a little differently at UpEffect. When founders submit an application and say, “we are changing the world,” we ask them “how?” We probe entrepreneurs about their supply chain, their beneficiaries, their impact numbers and their financials. Our Application form allows us to identify businesses that have done the work with their communities to prove how they will add value. While our initial calls with founders can feel like an intense audit, our subsequent calls are akin to old friends working together to bring ideas to life.
UpEffect selects companies based on the team, financial health, forecast cash flow, projections, social impact, beneficiary interest, community and the team's commitment to the crowdfunding campaign. All campaigns undergo a deep due diligence before onboarding. Selected companies then work with our crowdfunding coaches to convert their idea into an UpEffect crowdfunding campaign.
We look for innovations built by entrepreneurs with an intrinsic drive to improve lives and the planet. We want to know that you have validated your innovation through extensive market research, in particular feedback from potential customers. Your product should fill a gap that no one else is filling and you should be the best person to do the job.
Sustainability is the ability to do good for a long time. We believe that profit is an enabler for businesses, particularly purpose-led companies. We look for strong revenue streams to sustain a company's impact. Can the business realistically achieve profitability without additional funding?
It's easy to say you're changing the world but very few people can explain how they're changing the world. How will you improve lives through your innovation? What global problem will you solve to support communities? How will you measure your impact month-on-month? These are examples of the type of questions we ask our campaign creators to understand before they launch a campaign.
As with any business, one of the core factors which influences an investors decision to fund a company is the team. We see crowdfunding as no different. Crowdfunding is not easy and we want to ensure your team is equipped to make it a success which is why we take the time to get to know the team and their journey.
The Supply Chain/Fair Trade
Some companies have a warm and fuzzy marketing message but we want to know what your business is like on the inside, how do your processes measure against ethical requirements and expectations of funders? What is your carbon footprint? What is your workforce compensation like? What suppliers do you have on board? If you can confidently answer these questions and prove that you're clean from the inside out, you're already thinking like a social entrepreneur.
Beyond this, we require the following criteria to have been met:
- Be a legal, registered enterprise
- Be willing to provide references in support of your application should they be requested
- Be based in a country where Stripe for Business is available