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Venturesome team


Charities Aid Foundation


18 April 2017

Spring has sprung and summer is all but upon us, so it seemed like a great time to update everyone on the activities of the team at CAF Venturesome. Since the beginning of the year we have attended over 25 separate round table, conference and network events. Each event has focused on exploring the social investment sector and how charities and social enterprises can better benefit from this form of finance, and how intermediaries like CAF Venturesome can deliver this effectively.

CAF Venturesome has always welcomed being an active participant in sharing our approach and best practice from our portfolio. Our work and contribution continues to be well received, especially as we are uniquely placed amongst our peers as a wholly philanthropic capital fund.  


The Gathering

In February 2017, CAF Venturesome took part in The Gathering which brought together 130 of the UK’s most active participants in social investment. Held over two days, it was a unique opportunity for key stakeholders to build a wider set of relationships across the sector and form common approaches to some of the sector’s most pressing challenges. As part of the organising committee, we ensured the event was structured in such a way as to encourage new ways of working together in the sector and whilst identifying collective solutions to common challenges.


In autumn 2016 the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) released their research into Small Charities and Social Investment. The sample size of charitable organisations was small at 25, but the research highlighted the approach taken by small charities seeking repayable finance and the challenge of communication with social investors. Taking the lead from these insights, in April CAF Venturesome hosted an interactive session on on the issue of communication between the social investment sector and the charity/social enterprise sector. This took place as part of the annual Marmalade event, a fringe event to the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. This proved to be a lively discussion with a range of views from social sector organisations, funders and membership bodies that engage with both the social investment sector and social organisations. If you would like to read about our findings, please find this on our dedicated CAF Venturesome blog.

Marmalade  v2

Big Venture Challenge

Big Venture Challenge (BVC) supports ambitious entrepreneurs with access to business support, powerful connections and match funding to help them raise investment and deliver social impact at scale. The programme is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and over the last three years has supported over 100 social ventures to scale up, provided over £4m in grants and worked with over 91 social investors whilst leveraging £8.3m in external investment.

Since the programme started in 2013, CAF Venturesome has supported at least nine Big Venture Challenge alumni social enterprises with our affordable finance

BCV Event v2

In May BVC held an event to celebrate the end of the programme and Head of CAF Venturesome, Holly Piper, was part of the panel at the, discussing the social investment sector and if this form of finance was serving charities and social organizations effectively. The event recognised the success of the BVC programme and it was great to see one of our investees, Change Please, present and share their social investment story. In total CAF Venturesome has supported at lease nine BVC alumni social enterprises with our affordable finance.

Over the next few weeks the CAF Venturesome team will be attending and taking part in the following events:

Want to know more? Talk to our team on 03000 123 300 or email us at and we’ll be happy to help.


Nine misconceptions about social investment

Are you an organisation looking to secure funding? Have you considered social investment or want to understand how it could help your organisation?

Loan finance - are charities missing an opportunity?

Is your charity thinking about loan finance, but feel that you haven't quite got enough details to make an informed decision?

Meet the team behind CAF Venturesome

An introduction to our team, who have a wealth of expertise in helping charities access social investment.

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