Assessing the viability of any new social venture before it starts can help minimize costly mistakes. A top-notch feasibility study helps to clarify likely products or services, market opportunities, potential partnerships, financial requirements, and management and staffing needs. Sleeping Lion has prepared dozens of feasibility studies and business plans for worker and member cooperatives, housing projects, weatherization and construction companies, farms and agricultural business and a farmer-owned slaughtering and meat processing facility
Quality information and data are fundamental to sound decision-making and policy development. It is equally important to make certain decision-makers are speaking the same language. Our staff has conducted, compiled and presented complex information and data in easy-to-understand formats for Employment and Skills Development Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, legislative committees, municipal officials, the Vermont State Auditor and industry associations.
Financial modeling provides an analytical model of real-world situations. It forces owners and managers to clarify their assumptions and then assess the impact of various ‘what-if’ scenarios. We routinely create user-friendly financial models to help social enterprises assess their operations and potential, price their products or services and plan for future hiring, financing and capital needs.
When considering mission-related investments, impact investors often need assistance in balancing the financial and mission returns. We have provided due diligence services to charitable foundations and high net worth investors considering mission- or program-related investments. Our due diligence reports and recommendations are used to mitigate the risk of an impact investment or “say no” to a particular opportunity.
A skilled facilitator is often the difference between a successful meeting and the sense that you have just wasted valuable time. Sleeping Lion can help clarify your goals for the session, develop an agenda, keep the meeting on track, ensure everyone participates, and, finally, document key discussions and decisions. We also help groups and policy-makers recognize the implications of various scenarios and make strategic choices about how best to proceed. We have facilitated strategic planning retreats, association meetings and industry work-sessions for collaborative endeavors, multi-stakeholder groups, nonprofits and professional service firms. Clients routinely appreciate our ability to effectively identify the key questions, encourage fruitful and efficient discussion and reach consensus.
Sleeping Lion has helped a wide variety of clients develop programs or businesses to: provide business development services to farms and agriculturally related businesses; create new financing tools for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects; house offenders reentering the community; implement revolving loan funds; expand socially=responsible businesses and enhance assistance programs. We played a major role in developing the Vermont Agricultural Development Program, designing a prison-based vocational training program for women offenders and designing Vermont’s PACE program for financing residential energy efficiency.