I'm hosting a forum on SocialEdge.org for the next two weeks centered around Marc Dangeard's work building and Entrepreneur's Commons. There are many other ideas that are being discussed in the lists and the forum, and I'll pull them together at the end of the two weeks so we can see what came out of the discussion.
Some questions are just too good of a platform for me to let slip by! Today, Andrea Saveri from Institute for the Future asked the question: How/does this take into account the measurement of various capitals (social, financial, natural, etc.)?
The way it is related to issues regarding the development of non-financial capital is based on a current disconnect: Currently, people whose sole mission is to protect their fund's financial capital (i.e. VC's, Angel Investors) have made it difficult for organizations with non-financial goals to raise capital. This is due to a design that requires a very high return on investment in a short amount of time.
However financial and non-financial capital are actually related through the idea of intangible asset development, which is a necessary precursor to financial return anyway. So even for-profit organizations sometimes have issues with the rate and amount of financial return necessary for their funders, as they try to develop their internal capacity rather than focus on short-term financial results. Certainly, social entrepreneurial ventures have even more difficulty, as their desired outcomes involve building non-financial assets, which are only related to the original investment in terms of "economic health." Think, for example, of an educational non-profit: eventually an entire generation of optimally educated young people would be a huge boon; but that's a 20-year time horizon.
So Marc's Entrepreneur Commons manages to find solutions for both these issues: how to maintain financial protection (risk/return) for investors, while simultaneously allowing the venture to focus on building its intangible assets for future financial return, and/or to build non-financial assets within the community.