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What will Backing Founders mean in 2022?

Consider their impact on the environment and society

Measuring ESG considerations and a company’s impact on society and the environment has never been more important.  It’s no longer a tick box exercise at monthly Board meetings – it really matters and a company needs to deliver more than just financial returns.  Several of our companies have achieved or are working towards achieving B-Corporation status – these are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

Our portfolio company, Bower Collective has just been through the process of becoming a B-Corp, the digital-first sustainable consumer goods company has met rigorous social and environmental standards which represent their commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit, putting people and planet first.  Significantly, it has provided them with a robust framework for keeping every aspect of their social and environmental responsibility to the highest standard as they grow.  A number of our companies are also currently B-Corp pending and should receive their certification in 2022.

By achieving B-Corp status, early stage companies can ensure their sustainable principles remain at the heart of their philosophy as they grow.

 

Funding runway

When it comes to building their businesses, financing risk is often the biggest risk and should be one of the number one priorities for founders. Running out of money can ruin a dream, and this is one of the first things we will start to focus on post our initial investment in a company.

In recent months, commentators have reported a golden age of entrepreneurship while others have talked of a bubble.  As we head into 2022 the economic environment remains relatively unknown as Covid continues to impact multiple sectors.  So, it will be important for a founder to plan follow-on funding decisions further in advance to help maintain a solid cash buffer.

 

The outlook for 2022

One thing that 2021 has taught us is that despite a challenging environment, the opportunities for starting a business to address an unmet need or market opportunity have continued to grow and the risks and stigma associated with failure have also reduced.

We believe that more start-ups will lead to more successes in the long term. There will be more experience in the talent pool, more depth of knowledge in the ecosystem and more capital available to back the most promising businesses. By providing support and guidance to our founders through the next 12 months we can help foster this growth further and develop the potential unicorns of the future.

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