Accelerating Readiness for Scale

This fall marks an important anniversary for one of our newest investment portfolios, The Studio @ Blue Meridian. One year ago, we began a pilot program to help more organizations accelerate their readiness for scale. Today, The Studio is a central pillar of our commitment to innovation and experimentation in pursuit of our mission: improving the economic mobility of young people and families trapped in poverty. Going forward, The Studio will be a critical part of Blue Meridian’s work, and we aim to significantly increase our investing, deploying multiple strategies to support promising organizations.

We launched The Studio to fill clear gaps in the social sector capital market and provide visionary social sector leaders with the space, resources, and support they need to test and refine their strategies in order to pursue the next level of scale. In the private sector, “mezzanine” capital gives entrepreneurs the resources and flexibility to pursue high-potential opportunities and carve a pathway to scaling. Yet the social sector has few analogs for capitalizing this stage of growth and innovation when leaders have needs beyond the critical early stage investment and support from funding intermediaries, such as Ashoka, Camelback Ventures, and Echoing Green. The result is few resources available for leaders with proven track records looking to experiment and iterate upon on their existing platforms. Additionally, research released by Echoing Green and The Bridgespan Group this summer illustrates the stark funding gaps that remain for organizations with Black and Latinx leadership at every stage of development. Given our historic role as a later stage funder, we will continue exploring strategies to address these broader philanthropic capital market shortcomings and investing in more organizations with leadership teams that reflect the communities they serve and have proximity to the problems they are focused on solving.

The Studio will continue to pilot and evolve investing strategies to address these market gaps with a focus on providing flexible capital and tailored advisory support to organizations preparing for transformational growth. Our work is intended to build upon and leverage the efforts of other funders, while supporting social sector leaders to pursue the strategies they believe will ready their organizations to expand their reach, impact, and influence.

Read more here.