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Lekan Ojumu

Investment Manager

Charities Aid Foundation


RIPE ENTERPRISES

6 July 2017

Ripe Enterprises is a social enterprise based in South London, providing English, Maths, Digital Skills classes and employability support to local people many of whom are from migrant communities. Ripe's clients are typically unemployed, economically inactive or in low paid jobs, and require support to progress into sustainable and fulfilling employment, career advancement, enterprise, further & higher education or additional training.

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Ripe Enterprises has supported clients who in their home country were teachers, architects and other professional people, but all with low levels of English literacy to learn and achieve accredited qualifications. There are numerous examples where the main barrier to an individual improving their employment opportunities is their level of English, and this in turn impacts their confidence.


Ripe Enterprise’s journey with CAF Venturesome began in 2013 when they approached us for an unsecured loan to help with working capital. Our Investment team began a due diligence process during which we provided detailed feedback on areas of development of the organisation but were unable to support the organisation at the time with a loan. In early 2016 Ripe Enterprises approached Venturesome again after spending time strengthening various parts of the organisation as suggested by Venturesome. Governance was improved, income diversified and the organisation reduced its overheads significantly.  


“The support and guidance provided by CAF Venturesome has truly enabled Ripe to continue to realise the organisation's potential in meeting the needs of our clients.  Ripe's initial request for support from Venturesome in 2013, although declined, provided Ripe with a very good foundation on issues the organisation needed to address. CAF Venturesome's detailed feedback enabled Ripe to begin to address these gaps, for example, the scale of Ripe's social impact, and to initiate stronger finance and governance functions.” 

Anthony Djondo, Founding Director of Ripe Enterprises


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Ripe’s demonstration of their willingness to develop as an organisation, and the evidence of significant social impact, impressed CAF Venturesome’s investment committee. We provided social investment of £35,000 in July 2016 to support cashflow and provide working capital, as Ripe sought to increase trading income. CAF Venturesome recognised the potential of Ripe Enterprises and was able to play a part in helping to grow their social impact.

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The social enterprise is now supporting over 100 adults per week to improve their lives. With the recent facility from CAF Venturesome, Ripe has began the process of replicating it's services across additional children and community centres and schools, as well as improving collaboration with other providers and the service delivery model. The enhanced client social impact will lead to generating greater income in 2017/18 and support their financial sustainability. 


Want to know more about CAF Venturesome? 

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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