• DATE18 August, 2016
  • Published by Karen Armstrong

Do’s and don’ts of investing in Indigenous social enterprises

Insights from the recent two year Indigenous Social Enterprise Fund pilot provide lessons about supporting Indigenous social enterprises to grow.

By filling a gap in the market between grant funding and commercial capital, the Indigenous Social Enterprise Fund (ISEF) aimed to support the development of Indigenous social enterprises to scale sustainably.

The pilot demonstrated that assisting the Indigenous social enterprise sector to grow requires a specific offering that provides: focused capacity development to fill the skills gap, and a more socially-oriented, flexible, patient capital.

More specific lessons were to provide pre-investment and ongoing support; build relationships to close the gap between actual and perceived risk; not create barriers through documentation or using jargon; acknowledge strengths and be willing to build capacity, and value social returns.

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