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Award-winning social investment fund invites new applications

25 April 2017

An innovative social investment initiative funded by Legal & General and managed by CAF Venturesome is seeking applications after launching a second round of investment in Wales.

The Social Enterprise Assist Fund (SE-Assist) offers interest free loans ranging from £10,000 to £30,000, business mentoring and expert advisory services to early stage social enterprises in Wales.  It was created in partnership with the Welsh Government, Wales Co-Operative Centre, Business in the Community Wales and the Institute of Directors Wales.

Following a record number of applications in 2016 the SE-Assist scheme offered support to six social businesses across Wales including Elite Paper Solutions, working to help people who are disabled or at disadvantage to access, obtain and maintain employment; Book Of You, providing multimedia reminiscence services for people with dementia in Wales through a web app; and The Llanhilleth Miners Institute, a centre for community engagement tackling a variety of social deprivation issues.  This brought the total investment offered by the Fund to over £500,000 in interest free loans to 21 social enterprises.

Holly Piper, Head of CAF Venturesome, said:

“We are thrilled to be re-opening SE-Assist for a second round of investment in Wales to help early stage social enterprises.  As one of the UK’s longest standing social investment funds, CAF Venturesome is excited to work with our partners to help make a huge difference to people in the communities where they operate and create significant social impact.  Successful applicants will combine community benefit with a sustainable business model that will impact the lives of local people for many years.”

Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Legal & General said:

“We are delighted that the Legal & General SE-Assist Fund has been such a success and as a result we are now able to offer a second round of investment to support varied and local enterprises across Wales.  We are very excited to be involved in their development and help them progress.”

Applications to the SE-Assist Fund can be made via:

https://se-assist.co.uk/wales/

The closing date is 31 May 2017.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is one of the largest charitable foundations in Europe and amongst the largest providers of philanthropic products and services to charities, donors and companies worldwide.
  2. CAF Venturesome – the social investment arm of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) – was one of the first social investment funds to be set up in the UK.  Since 2002 it has supported over 500 charities, social enterprises, and community groups with over £40m of affordable, flexible finance.  It provides financial assistance to organisations, which may otherwise struggle to access grants or bank loans.  For further information please visit: https://www.cafonline.org/charity-finance--fundraising/borrowing/social-investment
  3. Established in 1836 Legal & General is a leading provider of insurance, savings and investment management products in the UK.  The Group has a market capitalisation of £12.7 billion (as at 19 September 2016) and is responsible for investing £841.5 billion worldwide (as at 30 June 2016) on behalf of investors, policyholders and shareholders.  Legal & General has over seven million customers in the UK for life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.  For further information please visit: http://www.legalandgeneralgroup.com/
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