Our sustainability stories

Through SE-Assist Fund, we help social organisations with a clear social or environmental impact

CAF Venturesome have recently published a short Impact Review on the SE-Assist Fund which has funded over 600 social investments in the UK and internationally, investing £50 million to transform lives and communities around the world with the support of philanthropists, corporates and grant-making trusts. Our SE-Assist Fund helps social organisations with a clear social or environmental impact. They have an annual turnover of less than £500,000 and are working towards a sustainable business model.

20 Aug 2019

The latest impact report offers an introduction to the world of social investment and just a glimpse of the impact and change that can be achieved when social enterprises, charities and philanthropists work together.

Social investment is the use of money to achieve a social, as well as a financial, return. By social, we mean an intentional positive impact; by financial, we mean the return of at least most of the capital invested, possibly with a small financial upside.

The review is based on interviews with many of our investee organisations with the aim of sharing key learnings – what works, and what could be better. We are taking the feedback into consideration for the current round of SE-Assist Wales – particularly trying to ensure access to additional non-financial support for investees.

The fund offers interest-free loans of up to £30,000 repayable over three years to help social organisations with cash flow to build long-term sustainability or development finance to help them grow. Working with our local delivery partners, we offer our investees access to a bank of experts and an experienced mentor who provides business experience and guidance.

Based on collaborative partnerships between business, the public sector, and community stakeholders, the investment decisions are made by a locally-based committee, ensuring support is responsive to needs in the community.

Our work with SE Assist

Since 2012 we have made a commitment to help social enterprises. These organisations are seen as a vital force in driving the regeneration of communities, creating much needed job-opportunities and a vibrant, diverse and inclusive local economy.

We work with the Charities Aid Foundation Venturesome (CAF), supporting many Welsh enterprises. These include the Wales Co-operative Centre, Business in the Community Wales and the Institute of Directors Wales. We have provided interest-free loans to 31 social enterprises in Sussex and Wales, investing £800,000 to date.

SE-Assist has supported a diverse range of social enterprises and entrepreneurial charities to grow – these include:

  • HISBE, an ethical supermarket in Brighton
  • ELITE SEA, a trading charity supporting disabled and disadvantaged people into work in Wales
  • Brighton’s community pub, The Bevy
  • GT Scholars, an in-school and after-school leadership programme for young people in Croydon.

You can find details of many of these schemes in ‘Supporting small social enterprises and charities: a review of the SE-Assist Fund”.

More information

https://se-assist.co.uk/ and/or email SE-Assist at venturesome@cafonline.org.

If you’re a social organisation looking for help or a philanthropist looking to have more impact, we’d love to hear from you.

CAF Venturesome, 10 St Bride Street, London EC4A 4AD

T: 03000 123 300

E: venturesome@cafonline.org

B: www.cafonline.org/venturesomeblog