Eric Kenton is a young entrepreneur who was moved by his experience of poverty in developing countries to come up with an alternative to toxic and dangerous kerosene lamps and candles used by the poor for lighting. He developed and founded EarthLight, the name of both his company and the solar-powered lamps it sells. Fueled by his mission and early social media exposure, customers and investors fell in love with the cause, propelling EarthLight to very early success. Overburdened with order-fulfillment, and receiving offers left and right, Kenton is now faced with the prospect of scaling up—and soon. With his strategy in place, Kenton needed to select the best financing option for his social venture.
Through the experiences of Eric Kenton, the case allows the reader to assess between the various options: partner with a social venture capital firm, seek financing from a traditional venture capital firm, or continue to bootstrap the business.