What We Do

The problem

The recent BP oil spill and bank bailouts punctuate the threat that business as usual poses to society and the planet. Dependence on fossil fuels poses a dual threat of climate change and a reliance on fuel which is heavily concentrated in a few foreign countries. In the U.S., the middle class is shrinking as the ranks of the working poor increase. Amidst this landscape, the global economy faces the challenge of creating meaningful jobs that pay well, provide room for advancement and asset building for all, and energize people as they go to work each day.

In summary, the world’s challenge is to create good jobs while preserving the environment.

And to address this challenge, the global economy must be a green economy. We define a green economy as one which sets a policy framework for, invests in, and supports high impact sustainable businesses (gazelles), which are the major engines of economic growth and jobs, while being deeply rooted in local communities. These gazelles are launched and driven by high impact sustainable entrepreneurs. The Institute exists to connect, inspire, and accelerate these sustainable entrepreneurs and the fields that support them and in this way, we help to change the world

Our solutions

We Connect Sustainable Entrepreneurs

Our national and local events include our annual SJF Summit on the New Green Economy and our bi-monthly CleanLinks networking gatherings in New York and Durham, NC. We hold workshops for entrepreneurs on Getting Ready for Equity™ , and we hold topical trainings relevant to the current economic climate when they arise.

We Inspire Sustainable Entrepreneurs

In partnership with Clean Edge, SJF Institute produces an annual Green Jobs Awards program which identifies, recognizes and promotes private companies that are leaders in quality green job creation. The program will contribute to define ‘green jobs’ terminology and confirm the reality of green job creation while inspiring entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and the public.

SJF Institute conducts applied research and puts it in the hands of sustainable entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors. Click on the links below to open PDFs of SJF reports and case studies on employee engagement and sustainable businesses.

We Accelerate Sustainable Entrepreneurs

We provide technical assistance to high growth positive impact entrepreneurs directly via workshops such as our Getting Ready for Equity™ trainings and our Cleantech Mentorship Program. We provide expert assistance to help entrepreneurs prepare for equity funding, leveraging the expertise of our affiliated positive impact investor, SJF Ventures. We also provide unique support around employee engagement and broad-based ownership.

The one-day Getting Ready for Equity™ workshop introduces attendees to the spectrum of equity providers and their typical investment criteria, provides insight into the equity investment process and key elements of equity investment, gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to network with investment professionals and peers, and allows them a chance to receive feedback on a 5-minute pitch. Entrepreneurs leave with an understanding of what equity investors are looking for, whether equity investment could be a fit for their business goals, steps they need to take to position their company for equity investment, and resources to assist in that