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Léo Vuillermoz

Team Administrator

Charities Aid Foundation


CELEBRATING OUR 500TH SOCIAL INVESTMENT

  4 July 2016

CAF Venturesome is incredibly proud to announce we have made our 500th social investment. The celebration of this landmark figure was the occasion for us to spend a very enjoyable evening with our investees, supporters and partners.

At this event, we had the privilege to hear Caroline Mason, of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, sharing her valuable experience on the importance of valuing social impact and embracing risk when working in the social investment sector.

Caroline Morgan, from Local Food Links, gave an inspirational speech on her charity, which provides primary schoolchildren in Dorset with healthy and locally produced meals, and on how CAF Venturesome helped them to grow their impact.

We feel incredibly lucky and thankful to work with such partners. Funding the social economy is a collaborative effort, and it is thanks to all our past and current supporters that we have made 500 (well, 504 actually) deals to this day.

This crazy adventure started in 2002 when founder John Kingston recognised that charities needed to borrow, just as any other organisation would, and believed that these loans might even be repaid. Pretty revolutionary at the time, but the growth of the social investment sector in recent years has shown the huge level of unmet demand by charities and social enterprises for affordable, repayable finance.

14 years later, we have offered over £40m of repayable finance to a wide range of charities and social enterprises, big and small, local and international, with the support of over 100 funders:

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We’ve been helping charitable organisations through a great variety of innovative facilities – our work on St. Mungo’s-Broadway Social Impact Bond being a case in point.

Together with our partner Legal & General, we took innovation further and launched the SE-Assist programme that provides small interest-free loans, bespoke mentoring and expert consultancy to local social enterprises.  This year, it successfully expanded to Wales – and demonstrates how companies can use social investment to support their local communities.

But our work has not only been restricted to traditional charities and social enterprises. Through the Community Land Trust (CLT) Funds we have helped communities to build forever affordable homes, and allowed communities to stay together against a changing economic backdrop.

We are delighted to have reached this milestone, and so proud of the organisations we have supported, who work tirelessly across the UK and around the world to bring about positive change.

These are turbulent times and it is more important than ever that charities and social enterprises have the support they need to become resilient, dynamic and responsive to social need.  With the help of our current and future partners, we look forward to the next 500 social investments.

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

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