Towards Financial Sustainability
If you took a survey of social entrepreneurs, particularly those in the startup phase, and asked them about their top challenges, you’d no doubt hear one constant refrain: funding. That is particularly difficult for social entrepreneurs who use a non-conventional business model — often referred to as a hybrid, in that it promotes both profitability and social mission, double or even triple bottom lines — that is not clearly understood by many prospective lenders and investors.
Elisa Birnbaum is editor-in-chief of SEE Change Magazine, a digital publication of social entrepreneurship and social change. Her journalistic portfolio includes articles published in the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, CBC.ca, Profit, Zoomer and Lifestyles Magazine. She's a regular contributor on social entrepreneurship for the National Post and covers issues in the non-profit sector as a freelance reporter for CharityVillage.com. President of Elle Communications, Elisa helps her clients tell their stories effectively and with impact. As a producer, she has worked on documentaries and current affairs programs at History Television, Discovery Health, TVO and the CBC. Elisa holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Concordia University and an LL.B degree from Université de Montréal and the University of Toronto's Osgoode Hall. She's a speaker on social entrepreneurship and was recently awarded an Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship at Cambridge University, UK, for her work with SEE Change Magazine. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.