Research Outline

COVID-19: Impact on For-Profit Social Enterprises


To provide trends surrounding how for-profit social enterprises (including a focus on startups) have been affected by COVID-19.
This research will help with understanding how social enterprises are effected by COVID and the resulting economy.

Early Findings

Trend #1: Available Funding Options Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • There has been an increase in funding for for-profit social enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since these social enterprises are geared towards helping communities and creating positive social impacts, there has been a need to keep financing them through the crisis, especially now that there are more people in need of their assistance.
  • The Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation in Waterloo, Ontario is offering eligible for-profit foundations that are working to do more good in the region the opportunity to get non-repayable capital through the Investment Readiness Program. This is a national initiative that is led by Community Foundations of Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, and will provide $50 million across the country to grow social enterprises. The program is open to various organizations including for-profit social enterprises and can provide $10,000 to $50,000 in capital to measure, design, plan, and scale the organizations.
  • Several governments like the Canadian government have provided subsidies to social enterprises, including for-profit ones. The federal government's support for businesses during COVID-19 in Canada has extended to social enterprises.
  • The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs started an initiative featuring "", which is a new resource that was developed by the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. The dashboard is a searchable database for emergency funds that are available to for-profit entrepreneurs during COVID-19. It contains global capital relief worth more than $1 trillion.
  • In India, the Omidyar Network committed $1.4m towards initiatives that focus on the "next half billion". Through this funding, for-profit social enterprises can apply for grants for their projects.