Holger Westphely

Former Acting Head of Venturesome

Charities Aid Foundation


Interested in applying to SE-Assist Wales?

The closing date for applications to the SE-Assist Fund is 31 May 2017.

Apply now


Interested in supporting the ELC?

The closing date for the community share offer is 12th June 2017.

Find out more


Looking for advice on Social Investment?

CAF Venturesome is one of the leaders in Social Investment.

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15th May 2017

In Summer 2014 CAF Venturesome backed the Ecological Land Co-operative, or ELC, in Sussex with an interest free £23k loan from our SE-Assist Fund. The organisation has an innovative business model to make agricultural land accessible to aspiring smallholders who have the skills and motivation to live an ecologically sustainable, agricultural lifestyle. The social impact of the organisation ranges from the creation of life-changing affordable opportunities for aspiring farmers to fulfil their dreams to the structural, helping to showcase ecologically and financially sustainable business models that have the potential to sustain rural lifestyles while supporting long-term food security, preserving and improving the land for future generations.

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The ELC was already supporting 3 families on its first site in Devon to build their agricultural businesses when it approached Venturesome. The team was seeking backing to prepare for a community share offer in 2015, which would fund the purchase of a second site. The SE-Assist support package helped the organisation raise £189,350 from 97 community investors and thus to purchase an 18.5 acre plot of land in Sussex. This is now awaiting planning consent for development into a further 3 smallholdings to host 3 small agricultural businesses.

As a Trustee of the ELC I am very excited to be involved in the latest share offer. We are looking to raise up to £340k to fund the purchase and development of sites 3 and 4. This will increase our reach and impact as well as taking us one step closer to financial sustainability. Shares are being offered through the Ethex platform. You can find out more about the work of the ELC here.

Our SE-Assist programme supports small social enterprises with the ambition to grow its impact and reach sustainability. We have launched a new investment round in Wales, which is open for applications until 31st May. Click here to find out more.

If you are not based in Wales or ineligible for SE-Assist, perhaps the Development Fund or the Reach Fund are for you. Contact CAF Venturesome to find out more.

Interested in applying to SE-Assist Wales? The closing date for applications to the SE-Assist Fund is 31 May 2017. Apply now

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.