Jo Wedderspoon_2

Joanne Wedderspoon

Development Manager

Charities Aid Foundation



29 May 2019

Our ultimate goal is to see strong social organisations sustaining and growing their social impact. We like to get away from our desks as often as possible, travelling all over the country visiting social enterprises and charities. This spring, we’ve visited an outdoor education centre in the Peak District, made a video about how one man’s life was changed by three social organisations that received social investment from CAF Venturesome, and visited social enterprises and charities across Scotland, Wales and England.  

Train track in the Peak District


As a leading social investment fund, we inform opinions and explore innovation in social investment by participating in round-tables and speaking at events.  We put our investees at the heart of what we do and we listen to what social enterprises and charities say they need and try to come up with new solutions to support them.

Holly, our Head of Venturesome, has had a busy spring co-curating and speaking at The Gathering, a conference in Leicester bringing over 150 social investors together to discuss the challenges facing the market and exploring new ways to support social organisations (look out for a blog soon on the findings from The Gathering). Holly has also spoken at an event at Mercer’s Hall and the Responsible Finance Conference in Liverpool. She is part of the Women in Social Finance Group and is actively involved in several social investment networks and forums.

We’ve helped social enterprises all over the country learn how to access social investment by speaking at the Good Deals + Beyond Good Business Conference, Let’s Talk Good Finance events, School for Social Entrepreneurs and Bond, the international development network.

We are committed to supporting community-led housing and this spring we have visited community land trusts all over England, attended the Future of Housing Conference and published an article in Pioneers Post on Helping communities take on the housing crisis.  

At the Good Deals + Beyond Good Business Conference, Holger, one of our Senior Investment Managers, co-chaired a session The people’s vote: co-creating past, present and future for the social investment world. The first question was, "Are social investors meeting the finance needs of social enterprises?". The answer was; "Not really".

The message was clear. Social entrepreneurs said they need flexible, affordable, unsecured patient capital and mentoring/peer support. So, an ideal social investment would be a part-loan/part-grant, at a low interest rate for 10 years that also offers regular practical support and advice.   

In other sessions, the audiences explored the need for creativity to tell the powerful stories of social enterprises to inspire and accelerate social change. Good Finance are relaunching their case study pages, which include several of ours, and we are looking at how we can make our “case stories” come alive from the human and environmental angle.   

We couldn’t agree more with these sentiments and we will continue to look for ways to support social enterprises build communities with flexible, patient, affordable finance.

If you're a social organisation looking for affordable, repayable finance to help you grow or a philanthropist looking to make more social impact with your charitable money, talk to our team on 03000 123 300 or email us at and we’ll be happy to help.