Books

Below are a handful of books for investors, fund managers and social entrepreneurs. I’ve selected these books based on my belief in their ability to help those interested in learning more about impact investing and social and environmentally conscious business. Whether you are simply interested, just beginning, or already a veteran of the impact world, I know these books can be of great value to you.

 

For The Investors

 

The Impact Investor: Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism

“This book offers precise details on what, exactly, impact investing entails, embodied in the experiences and best and proven practices of some of the world’s most successful impact investors, across asset classes, geographies and areas of impact. The book discusses the parameters of impact investing in unprecedented detail and clarity, providing both context and tools to those eager to engage in the generational shift in the way finance and business is being approached in the new era of Collaborative Capitalism.”

 

Venture Deals: Be Smarter than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

“Engaging and informative, this reliable resource skillfully outlines the essential elements of the venture capital term sheet–from terms related to economics to terms related to control. It strives to give a balanced view of the particular terms along with the strategies to getting to a fair deal. In addition to examining the nuts and bolts of the term sheet, Venture Deals, Second Edition also introduces you to the various participants in the process and discusses how fundraising works.

  • Fully updated to reflect the intricacies of startups and entrepreneurship in today’s dynamic economic environment
  • Offers valuable insights into venture capital deal structure and strategies
  • Brings a level of transparency to a process that is rarely well understood

Whether you’re an experienced or aspiring entrepreneur, venture capitalist, or lawyer who partakes in these particular types of deals, you will benefit from the insights found throughout this new book.”

 

Measuring and Improving Social Impacts: A Guide for Nonprofits, Companies, and Impact Investors.

Based on years of research and analysis of field studies from around the globe, Epstein and Yuthas offer a five-step process that will help you gain clarity about the impacts that matter most to you and will provide you with methods to measure and improve them. They outline a systematic approach to deciding what resources you should invest, what problem you should address, and which activities and organizations you should support.”

 

The Pinchot Impact Index: Measuring, Comparing, and Aggregating Impact

“The Pinchot Impact Index is a new solution for measuring, comparing and aggregating the impact of organizations that do good in the world. It solves the unsolved problem of aggregating impact across a set of nonprofit projects or across a portfolio of impact investments.”

 

The Age of Sustainable Development

“Sachs offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, this book is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on Sachs’s twelve years as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, his thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, and his recent presentation of these ideas in a popular online course, The Age of Sustainable Development is a landmark publication and clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.”

 

Investing with Impact: Why Finance is a Force for Good

“…outlines the roadmap to reinvigorating a skeptical public and demoralized financial services industry by making the case that, contrary to popular misconception, finance is not the cause of the world’s problems; in fact, it can provide the solution. “Investing With Impact” explains the methodology of Balkin’s 6 E Paradigm, opening the toolbox to this revolutionary framework for the first time. In so doing, Balkin expands the impact investment universe, enabling mainstream capital to flow where opportunities generate positive investment returns and have demonstrable social impact.”

 

Startup Wealth: How the Best Angel Investors Make Money in Startups


Startup investors are achieving 20%, 40%, and higher rates of return. Whether you’re investing in early-stage companies, raising capital for your startup, or just interested in how angel investors really approach investing in startups, Startup Wealth will unravel the mystery surrounding startup capital.

Josh Maher profiles 23 of the country’s best investors over the last two decades by way of real-world case studies. Through revealing interviews, readers are introduced to Mark Suster, Catherine Mott, Christopher Mirabile,Brad Feld, Allan May, Joanne Wilson, and many other accomplished angel investors and venture capitalists. In these interviews you’ll learn:

– How entrepreneurs can identify the right type of investor for their business
– What different types of angel and venture investors look for in startups and how they do or don’t add value
– How the best investors think about identifying companies, negotiating terms, and partnering with founders and other investors
– How angel investing can involve many different successful approaches
– What the best investors have learned from their largest successes and failures
– How investors design their portfolios and work with companies to achieve the most successful results.


 

For The Entrepreneurs

The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good

“More than 1,000 companies from 80 industries and 35 countries are leading a global movement to redefine success in business. They’re called B Corporations–B Corps for short–and these businesses create high quality jobs, help build stronger communities, and restore the environment, all while generating solid financial returns.

Author and B Corp owner Ryan Honeyman worked closely with over 100 B Corp CEOs and senior executives to share their tips, advice, and best practice ideas for how to build a better business, and how to meet the rigorous standards for–and enjoy the benefits of–B Corp certification.

This book makes the business case for improving your social and environmental performance, and offers a step-by-step “quick start guide” on how your company can join an innovative and rapidly expanding community of businesses that want to make money and make a difference.”

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas

“How to Change the World” provides vivid profiles of social entrepreneurs. The book is an In Search of Excellence for social initiatives, intertwining personal stories, anecdotes, and analysis. Readers will discover how one person can make an astonishing difference in the world.”

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

“Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.”

The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company

“More than 100,000 entrepreneurs rely on this book for detailed, step-by-step instructions on building successful, scalable, profitable startups. The National Science Foundation pays hundreds of startup teams each year to follow the process outlined in the book, and it’s taught at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and more than 100 other leading universities worldwide. Why?

The Startup Owner’s Manual guides you, step-by-step, as you put the Customer Development process to work. This method was created by renowned Silicon Valley startup expert Steve Blank, acknowledged catalyst of the “Lean Startup” movement, and tested and refined by him for more than a decade.”

Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works

“Running Lean is an ideal tool for business managers, CEOs, small business owners, developers and programmers, and anyone who’s interested in starting a business project.

– Find a problem worth solving, then define a solution
– Engage your customers throughout the development cycle
– Continually test your product with smaller, faster iterations
– Build a feature, measure customer response, and verify/refute the idea
– Know when to “pivot” by changing your plan’s course
– Maximize your efforts for speed, learning, and focus
– Learn the ideal time to raise your “big round” of funding”

Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy

“Creating Climate Wealth is about how climate change – the biggest challenge of our time –can be turned into a $10 trillion dollar wealth-creating opportunity. Author Jigar Shah, internationally recognized for revolutionizing the now multi-billion-dollar solar energy industry, outlines how entrepreneurs and investors can unlock the massive potential that climate change represents. Shah argues that, while new technical innovation is valuable, deployment of existing technologies are the key to reaching our near-term climate targets. Rather than waiting for yet to be developed technology, business model innovation is the key to attract mainstream capital and unlock transformational change. Shah makes a compelling case for reaching our 2020 climate change goals through 100,000 companies worldwide, each generating $100 million in sales. Unlocking our next economy will be driven by thousands of companies deploying existing clean and resource-efficient technologies in electricity-supply (like solar), transportation, building materials, industry, forestry, waste, and agriculture. Shah is not alone; according to the International Energy Agency, and others, $10 trillion can be invested profitably—today—in the world’s existing technologies, making Shah’s plan of 100,000 companies each generating $100 million in sales a reality in catalyzing a new economy in the process.”

 Mastery

“By analyzing the lives of such past masters as Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as by interviewing nine contemporary masters, including tech guru Paul Graham and animal rights advocate Temple Grandin, Greene debunks our culture’s many myths about genius and distills the wisdom of the ages to reveal the secret to greatness. With this seminal text as a guide, readers will learn how to unlock the passion within and become masters.”