© gfpeck

Our funding

Mlinda is a not-for-profit organisation that applies for-profit principles of financial sustainability to everything we do. Just like a for-profit company, we aim to maximise return for our stakeholders. The fundamental difference is that a company’s primary stakeholders are its shareholders, whereas our stakeholders are all the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on the wellbeing of their environment. So rather than being redistributed as capital gains or dividends to shareholders, our profits are reinvested in our projects to maximise their impact.

‘WE REINVEST PROFITS BACK INTO PROJECTS TO INCREASE THEIR SCALE AND ACCELERATE THEIR REPLICATION’

Mlinda relies on three sources of funding

  • revenues generated by our endowment
  • profits from projects
  • contributions including grants and donations.

Revenues from our endowment currently cover around 15%
of our running costs. The balance has to come from projects
and contributions.

© Flickr/Federico Davoine

Social enterprises

Our projects are managed as individual ‘social enterprises’ – entities that are financially self-sufficient and generate revenues at market rates of return. We design, develop and fund each project in the same way any early-stage investor would, with a view to opening the more promising ones to third-party investors who seek to make debt or equity investments in the sectors covered by our projects. Our promise is to provide market rates of return in addition to long-term capital efficiency and risk management as a result of reduced environmental risk. We also invest, directly or indirectly (through our endowment), in projects developed by others – provided they meet the same criteria of financial viability and long-term risk management.

© Sean Rocha

Donations and grants

Mlinda does not rely on donations, grants or subsidies to finance projects. However, they are a welcome and important source of cashflow to support the incubation of our ‘social enterprises’ on their way to profitability. These incubation costs include general and administrative expenses (covering our Paris and Kolkata offices) and research and development outlays (market study, technical analysis, technological development, community outreach and project pilots). As such, we are extremely grateful to all contributors who allow us to grow and extend our reach while retaining our essential status as a small and nimble organisation.

Mlinda has received support from the following organisations

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POSOSO

MNRE

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The climate group

NABARD

We measure both our financial and non-financial results and are happy to share them.
Contact us for more details