Rob Mills Debt Financing

FIP 008: Raising Debt Investment with Rob Mills

In this episode, I talk to Rob Mills from Social Finance about raising debt investment for your social enterprise. This is particularly useful for a later stage social enterprise, who is looking to raise debt finance, or for social entrepreneurs with an eye on future growth. Rob was previously with the World Bank in Mozambique and has a long track record of various forms of large scale finance.

Some of the things we discuss include:

  • We review the landscape of investment options for social enterprises, from double digit return impact funds, all the way through to grants.
  • We explore a big gap in the investment space and why that gap is likely to persist, and we play around with the idea of investment that uses an impact-adjusted rate of return.
  • How it’s totally feasible nowadays to look for equity to fund working capital needs, as seen in the off-grid solar market in E. Africa
  • A flavour of the things that a debt investor would likely want to see, including details around governance, financial model, collateral, intellectual property, regulatory license to operate, tax and jurisdiction issues, etc.
  • Common pitfalls in why an investor might initially be interested in a social enterprise, but for various reasons, the deal doesn’t go ahead.


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