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How We Work

What We Look For

We invest in those who demonstrate the capacity for growth and passion for change. Recognizing our value to investees extends beyond our financial support, we look for those entrepreneurs who mirror our drive for a more equitable, economically empowered world.

Investment Criteria

Early Stage

Generate revenue and focus on driving operations toward profitability or, if already profitable, toward expansion and initial growth

Market Re-Makers

Re-shape local economies to better serve marginalized communities

Social & Environmental Impact

Measure and demonstrate how they benefit poor or otherwise marginalized communities through quality-of-life or livelihood improvements

Indian Operations

Work in India with US or Indian legal for/non-profit registrations

Technological Use

Leverage technology to expand or deepen social or environmental impact

Financial Requirements

Require between $25,000 – $100,000 USD in investment capital

The sectors of focus include:


Agricultural value capture for farmers, laborers, or others in off-farm processing


Clean energy with productive-use applications


Waste management with benefits for waste workers

Pitch to Us

We only invest in a very limited number of the businesses that apply to us every year.

If you are interested in receiving financing from S3IDF please fill out the form. If we want to know more we’ll request a meeting (virtually or in-person depending on where you are).

Support our Impact Fund

Building on our track record of 18 years of enterprise support and financing, S3IDF is expanding our direct financing of ambitious social entrepreneurs building businesses to empower communities.

We are in the process of raising a new Social Impact Fund to support pioneering businesses. Every dollar of your donation will be matched by a private donor up to $250,000, doubling the direct impact of your contribution to the entrepreneurs solving complex social problems.

Ways to Donate to our Impact Fund

Give Online

Give by Donor-Advised Fund

Give By Mail

Please send your donation checks to:

In the US

The Small-Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund
The Carriage House
5 Hastings Square
Cambridge, MA 02139- 4724 USA

S3IDF-US is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Our EIN/tax ID number is 04-3582215. Your donations are fully tax-deductible to the extend allowable by law.

S3IDF has shown through its work among the poorer sections of society in Asia and elsewhere that its approach in designing innovative solutions is unparalleled. I recommend that the development community take advantage of the advisory services that S3IDF offers.

Padu S. Padmanaban Former Program Director and Senior Energy Advisor, USAID/India

S3IDF is one of the pioneers in providing innovative and sustainable market solutions for energy poverty. S3IDF has been an active partner with ADB’s Energy for All for a number of years, and we value S3IDF both as partner and for the critical voice that has helped to refine our projects and point us towards priority areas where our support and intervention can help make a difference in the fight against poverty.

Jiwan Acharya Senior Climate Change Specialist (Clean Energy), Asian Development Bank

S3IDF is a special organization; highly experienced, capable, and dedicated staff carefully work at the intersection of technology, finance, cultures, and entrepreneurship in impoverished communities. Their work fully embodies their name.

Will Knowland Former Vice President for Rural and Renewable Energy, Nexant, Inc.