KauffmanWomen: Q&A with Sarah Burch (KF 25), MD of Rippleworks

The big differentiator between the social enterprises that I’ve seen successfully grow compared to the ones that stumble is the founder’s views on people and talent.

There are fantastic, scalable startups that have a social mission but can’t get access to capital because they don’t have the right networks, there is a communication barrier, or the investors don’t understand how to quantify risks/rewards in emerging markets.

Over the last 6 years, we’ve come up with new products and services to support scaling social ventures. We’ve gone from working purely on solving operational challenge issues to creating an investment strategy that has deployed over $75 million, to developing a leadership studio for rising managers all aimed at supporting social enterprises.

Rippleworks has supported so many inspiring, fantastic CEOs over the years. It has been a privilege to work with them hands-on and help them solve tough operational challenges that are needed to unlock growth.

Having a social mission has always been important to me and I have never really considered working outside the impact space. I was lucky to be part of the impact investing and social entrepreneurship space early.

Rippleworks’ goal is to help social enterprises scale. We are always going to focus on how we can do that better, in a way that isn’t duplicative but additive to what other resources are already available.

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Kauffman Fellows

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Kauffman Fellows is the world’s premier venture education program with the largest and most connected network of VC investors.

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