Commitments to companies and organizations with a social purpose in German-speaking countries.
BonVenture's goal is to tackle social, societal and ecological problems and to contribute to the reduction of these problems, to improve the efficiency and transparency in the social sector and to set an example for social investments by combining philanthropy and economic efficiency.
To achieve this, BonVenture applies proven venture capital methods to the social sector. BonVenture provides its projects with long-term financial resources as well as a network and professional support. In addition, BonVenture develops and applies initiatives to improve the transparency and the visibility of the social impact of these projects.
BonVenture's main objective is to reduce social, societal and ecological problems in German-speaking countries and to promote social responsibility in a time when existing systems often fail to perform their tasks due to a lack of financial resources and innovation.
While social venture capital is already established in the United States, the BonVenture Group is the first vehicle of its kind in the German-speaking countries. It provides private equity, loans or grants as well as active management support to social enterprises (who ca be both for-profit and non-profit). At the same time BonVenture is a non-profit activity for its investors and operates as a social business itself.
What can we offer
BonVenture supports organizations in the social sector which are based on an innovative idea and are financially self-supporting in the long run.
A main criteria for a commitment from BonVenture is the existence of one/several Social Entrepreneur(s) who initiated the project and is/are accelerating it. Social Entrepreneurs are individuals who think and act as entrepreneurs and whose enterprises are driven predominantly by a social or ecological purpose. They use their energy, personal commitment and high level of motivation to achieve sustainable positive change in the social and ecological field. BonVenture acts as a partner to bring Social Entrepreneurs, collaborators and investors together.
BonVenture as a fund sets financial and in particular social objectives as benchmarks for its success (Double-bottom-line approach):
- The primary objective is to reach a high social impact
- The financial objective is at least capital preservation
BonVenture uses a professional infrastructure to promote and support social projects:
- Project applications have to undergo an intensive due diligence process before a commitment is made
- Projects are financed in different financing rounds according to pre-defined milestones and are actively supported through close and intensive cooperation
- Risk is reduced by spreading financial resources over 15-20 portfolio companies
The following characteristics distinguish BonVenture from traditional foundations:
- Higher transparency
- Efficient use of financial resources
- Payment according to milestones (Social and Financial Impact)
- Active support.
Requirements for Investees
BonVenture focuses on social enterpises in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). BonVenture supports projects in the start-up, early or expansion stage by providing them with equity, mezzanine financing or loans with or without collateral. BonVenture invests in projects that provide solutions and services for the following areas:
Innovative social services and products for
- marginalized groups
- employment and education
- children, young people and the elderly
Transparency and social development
- new eco-friendly technology and services
- nature and species protection
- nutrition and consumer protection
- environmental protection
In the selection of projects BonVenture applies clearly definied criteria including the motivation, persistence and credibility of the team as well as the value of the project as a role model. BonVenture will not invest in turn-arounds or in projects that only serve the securing of jobs. BonVenture will also not take over stakes of other investors. BonVenture aims to invest between EUR 300.000 – 1 mio. per project, preferably together with co-investors. Grants typically range from EUR 10.000 - 50.000. BonVenture will not invest in turn-arounds or in projects that only serve the securing of jobs. BonVenture will also not take over stakes of other investors.
BonVenture pursues a non-profit approach at the investor level (profits are donated). The BonVenture Group includes BonVenture I GmbH & Co. KG (BV I) and BonVenture II GmbH & Co. KG (BV II), both forms of incorporation for German venture capital funds, and BonVenture gemeinnützige GmbH (BV gGmbH; corporation similar to a foundation). All of the above are managed by BonVenture Management GmbH (BVM).
Investors can either become limited partners in the BonVenture funds or can make tax-deductible donations and charitable contributions to BV gGmbH. BVM is responsible for the due diligence of project applications. Investment decisions for the funds are made by the Advisory Board of BVM, whereas for BV gGmbH its Board of Trustees decides on investments. BVM will not only perform the screening and implementation of the investments, but will also provide a broad range of internal and external services to support portfolio projects (in particular with regard to human resources, financial, strategic and organizational planning).
Advisory Board, Board of Trustees and Management
Seats in the Advisory Board of BVM and the Board of Trustees of BV gGmbH are assigned to very experienced and renowned individuals.
The Managing Director of BVM and BV gGmbH, Dr. Erwin Stahl, has been in the venture capital business since December 1995 structuring venture capital funds, managing portfolios and building up companies.
As a forerunner in the field of social venture capital in German-speaking countries BonVenture has built up a considerable network. In the future BonVenture plans to enlarge this network and to expand the Board(s) with experienced experts.