Foresters Social Enterprise and Finance Fund
The Social Enterprise Finance Fund (The ‘SEFF’) was established to work in conjunction with Foresters’ existing fund: Community Finance Fund Social Enterprise (The ‘CFF-SE’). The SEFF is designed to support smaller and emerging social enterprises that may not immediately qualify for financial support from the CFF-SE.
The SEFF offers enterprise lending designed as flexible finance options to promote the growth and development of social enterprises.
The SEFF was raised in 2011 and is domiciled in Australia. It was established to support social enterprises to develop financial resilience and extend delivery of their products and services. The SEFF invests in social enterprises through direct loans (both secured and unsecured). The value, term, interest rate and security of the loan varies depending on the business needs of each social enterprise (examples provided by Foresters show loans ranging from $10,000 to $75,000).
The SEFF is managed by Social Investment Australia Ltd, an entity within the Foresters Community Finance Group.
The SEFF was established broadly to support the growth of existing social enterprises. As a result, investments are not constrained to a particular area of social impact.
The SEFF invests in social enterprises across Australia, with the majority of investments currently in Victoria and New South Wales.
The SEFF currently lends c. $390,000 to accelerate the growth of social enterprises. The majority of loans are currently issued to social enterprises broadly focused on culture and recreation ($130,035) followed by education and research ($100,000).
Public information on investors N/A.
- Eating Disorders Victoria
(Loan: $75,000 │5 years │10%): EDV is the primary source of support services, information, community education and advocacy for people with eating disorders and their families in Victoria. Loan to help establish their ‘fee for service’ counselling program and reduce reliance on grant funding. Increased services to 115 new clients and employed 5 new paid staff members and increased volunteer numbers
- Better Life Communications (Loan: $52,000 │ 1 year │12.29%): BLC is a start-up social enterprise that provides ethical and affordable mobile phone plans to financially excluded Australians. Loan used to establish business and secure a partnership contract with Optus. Provided 978 low income Australians with access to affordable mobile phone plans
Management fee of 1.4% p.a. of the gross asset value of the SEFF’s assets.
The SEFF is illiquid and does not offer a regular withdrawal facility. Withdrawal offers to investors may be made from time to time. Investors are advised to view an investment in the Fund as long term with no immediate withdrawal rights.
The SEFF aims to promote the growth and development of Australian social enterprises environmental through flexible lending by building financial resilience and enabling the expansion of existing products and services.
12 month return (August 2014 to July 2015) was 4.81%.