A bond is a fixed income instrument that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower. A bond has an end date when the principal of the loan is due to be paid to the bond owner and usually includes the terms for variable or fixed interest payments that will be made by the borrower. Bonds are used by companies, municipalities, states, and sovereign governments to finance projects and operations. Owners of bonds are debtholders, or creditors, of the issuer. (Investopedia)


Capital risk​

 is the potential of loss of part or all of an investment. It applies to the whole gamut of assets that are not subject to a guarantee of full return of original capital. Investors face capital risk when they invest in stocks, non-government bonds, real estate, commodities and other alternative assets. Also, when a company invests in a project, it exposes itself to risk that the project will not produce future returns to cover its capital invested. (Investopedia)


in private equity, co-investment is the syndication of a financing round or investment by other funders alongside a private equity fund. (EVPA)

Cooperative shares

means shares issued by a Cooperative Corporation. (Law Insider)

Convertible debt

Loan that entitles the lender (or the holder of loan debenture) to convert the loan to common or preferred stock (ordinary or preference shares) at a specified conversion rate and within a specified timeframe. (Business dictionary).


the funding of a business by selling small amounts of stock to many investors. (Dictionary of Finance & investment terms, John Downes & Jordan Elliot Goodman)



Debt is an amount of money borrowed by one party from another. Debt is used by many corporations and individuals as a method of making large purchases that they could not afford under normal circumstances. A debt arrangement gives the borrowing party permission to borrow money under the condition that it is to be paid back at a later date, usually with interest. (Investopedia)
–>Financial instruments by which borrowing is raised and repaid with interest (Oxford dictionary)

Debt-based crowdfunding

Consists of a loan of a sum of money from an investor to an entrepreneur via a crowdfunding platform, without going through a banking institution. As with a traditional loan, the investor recovers his contribution plus a certain amount of interest. (Bradford, 2012 ; Tomboc, 2013)


A donation is a gift made by an individual or an organization to a nonprofit organization, charity or private foundation. Donations are commonly in the form of cash, but they can also take the form of real estate, motor vehicles, appreciated securities, clothing and other assets or services. (Investopedia)


Equity-based crowdfunding

is the process of “raising capital from the crowd through the sale of securities (shares, convertible note, debt, revenue share, and more) in a private company (that is not listed on stock exchanges)” (Forbes).


Equity represents the amount of money that would be returned to a company’s shareholders if all of the assets were liquidated and all of the company’s debt was paid off. (Investopedia)


Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. (Investopedia)



A grant is an award, usually financial, given by one entity (typically a company, foundation, or government) to another, often an individual or a company, to facilitate a goal or incentivize performance. Grants are essentially gifts that do not have to be paid back, under most conditions. These can include education loans, research money, and stock options. (Investopedia)


Hybrid Finance

allocation of financial resources to impact-oriented investments combining different types of financial instruments and different types of risk/return/impact profiles of capital providers. (EVPA)


Impact Enterprise

Impact enterprises are companies that have the objective to create maximum positive impact-for their customers, employees, business partners and the public at large, as well as for the environment. (Virgin)

Impact Investing

Impact investing refers to investments made into companies, organisations and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return. (Wikipedia)


Life insurance

 is a contract between an insurer and a policyholder in which the insurer guarantees payment of a death benefit to named beneficiaries upon the death of the insured. The insurance company promises a death benefit in consideration of the payment of premium by the insured. (Investopedia)


Mezzanine financing

is a hybrid of debt and equity financing that gives the lender the right to convert to an equity interest in the company in case of default, generally after venture capital companies and other senior lenders are paid. Mezzanine financing tends to be completed with little due diligence on the part of the lender and little or no collateral on the part of the borrower. It is treated as equity on a company’s balance sheet. (Investopedia)


Microcredit is an extremely small loan given to impoverished people to help them become self-employed. Microcredit is also known as “microlending” or “microloan.” (Investopedia)

Minority Shareholder

equity holder of a firm who does not have the voting control of the firm, by virtue of his or her below fifty percent ownership of the firm’s equity capital.



A form of company debt that could also be considered to posses some traits of equity, such as being non-secured by any collateral. (Business dictionary)


Reward-based crowdfunding

Rewards-based crowdfunding consists of individuals donating to a project or business with the expectation of receiving a non-financial reward in return, such as goods or services at a later stage (European Commission)


Savings account

A savings account is an interest-bearing deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution that provides a modest interest rate. Financial institutions that offer savings accounts may limit the number of withdrawals you can make from your account each month. They also may charge fees unless you maintain a certain average monthly balance in the account. In most cases banks do not provide checks with savings accounts. (Investopedia)

Seed phase/pre-start up

is the first official equity funding stage. It typically represents the first official money that a business venture or enterprise raises. You can think of the “seed” funding as part of an analogy for planting a tree. This early financial support is ideally the “seed” which will help to grow the business. Given enough revenue and a successful business strategy, as well as the perseverance and dedication of investors, the company will hopefully eventually grow into a “tree.” Seed funding helps a company to finance its first steps, including things like market research and product development. (Investopedia)
–>The seed stage of your business life cycle is when your business is just a thought or an idea. This is the very conception or birth of a new business. (Addison & Co)

Start up

refers to the money that is required to start a new business, whether for office space, permits, licenses, inventory, product development and manufacturing, marketing or any other expense. The money can come from a bank, in the form of a business loan; or from an investor, group of investors, or venture capitalist(s). In the case of a bank loan, the business will be expected to make monthly payments to pay down the debt plus any interest and/or fees. In the case of an investor, he or she will negotiate to provide that startup capital in exchange for a certain stake in the company. (Investopedia)
–>Your business is born and now exists legally. Products or services are in production and you have your first customers. (Addison & Co)

Scale up / Emerging Growth

 this stage requires a significant amount of capital. The goal of marketing efforts at this stage is to differentiate a firm’s offerings from other competitors within the industry. Thus the growth stage requires funds to launch a newly focused marketing campaign as well as funds for continued investment in property, plant, and equipment to facilitate the growth required by the market demands. However, the industry is experiencing more product standardization at this stage, which may encourage economies of scale and facilitate development of a line-flow layout for production efficiency. (Encyclopedia)

Shared savings

Shared savings consist, for the saver, in donating all or part of the income from his investment to a work of general interest of a philanthropic, educational, scientific, social, humanitarian, cultural or environmental nature.


are units of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset that provide for an equal distribution in any profits, if any are declared, in the form of dividends. The two main types of shares are common shares and preferred shares. Physical paper stock certificates have been replaced with electronic recording of stock shares, just as mutual fund shares are recorded electronically. (Investopedia)


is an open-ended collective investment scheme common in Western Europe. (Linguee).

Social enterprise

 A social enterprise is an operator in the social economy whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for their owners or shareholders. It operates by providing goods and services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and uses its profits primarily to achieve social objectives. It is managed in an open and responsible manner and, in particular, involves employees, consumers and stakeholders affected by its commercial activities. The European Commission uses the term ‘social enterprise’ to cover the following types of business:
-Those for who the social or societal objective of the common good is the reason for the commercial activity, often in the form of a high level of social innovation.
-Those where profits are mainly reinvested with a view to achieving this social objective.
-Those where the method of organisation or ownership system reflects the enterprise’s mission, using democratic or participatory principles or focusing on social justice.
There is no single legal form for social enterprises. Many operate in the form of social cooperatives, some are registered as private companies limited by guarantee, some are mutual, and a lot of them are no-profit-distributing organisations like provident societies, associations, voluntary organisations, charities or foundations.

Solidarity-based investing

Solidarity-based financing proposes a revised relationship with money by conciliating initiative and solidarity within the economy. It supports various social or environmental ventures with citizen’s money. Your savings are invested totally or in part in activities like creating jobs, housing very low income families, energy-saving devices or business start-ups in developing countries.


Definition to add

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030.


A subsidy is a benefit given to an individual, business or institution, usually by the government. It is usually in the form of a cash payment or a tax reduction. The subsidy is typically given to remove some type of burden, and it is often considered to be in the overall interest of the public, given to promote a social good or an economic policy. (Investopedia)

Subordinated debt

 Subordinated debt is a loan or security that ranks below other loans or securities with regard to claims on assets or earnings. Subordinated debt is also known as a junior security or subordinated loan. In the case of borrower default, creditors who own subordinated debt won’t be paid out until after senior debt holders are paid in full. (Investopedia)

Sustainable investment funds

invest in asset classes such as equities and bonds in the same way as traditional funds. But unlike traditional funds, they do not only take into account financial criteria. Indeed, they also focus in environmental, social and governance aspects.



The Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities is a regulatory framework of the European Commission that creates a harmonized regime throughout Europe for the management and sale of mutual funds.


Venture Capital

 is financing that investors provide to startup companies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth potential. Venture capital generally comes from well-off investors, investment banks and any other financial institutions. However, it does not always take just a monetary form; it can be provided in the form of technical or managerial expertise. (Investopedia)