Latino small businesses get a boost. The Surdna Foundation is boosting its support for Latino small businesses with a $2 million program-related investment, along with grant support. The investment is intended to accelerate lending among Latino-led community development financial institutions, or CDFIs. VEDC, a national financial intermediary, will manage the funds to reach 400 Latino businesses through five regional partners in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and San Francisco. A separate $300,000 grant will support technical assistance and capacity development for the lenders.
Food partnerships. Surdna also announced a $500,000 PRI to Fair Food Network, to improve regional food infrastructure in the U.S. and strengthen community-level networks of entrepreneurs and farmers. Fair Food Network helps sustainable food enterprises that partner with small-scale farms with businesses loans, royalty financing, and convertible debt in the range of $50,000 to $250,000.
Social support for health. The Healthy Futures Fund has a fresh infusion of $100 million. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Kresge Foundation and healthcare non-profit Dignity Health joined the Healthy Futures Fund (HFF)’s latest round. HFF, which was launched in 2012 with an initial $100 million from Kresage, LISC and Morgan Stanley, supports the expansion of affordable housing and health centers in the U.S. It has spurred construction of more than 400 affordable housing units and has backed projects like the $90-million Conway Center in Washington D.C. The new commitments to HFF include a $5 million investment from Dignity Health and a $2.5-million loan guarantee and a $916,000 grant from Kresage.
Financing for African agribusiness. Bamboo Finance has raised $10 million for its planned $50 million “Nisaba” impact fund from Louis Dreyfus Holding, a major global agriculture conglomerates. Nisaba is Bamboo’s first foray into the African agriculture sector. The 10-year fund is targeting long-term equity, quasi-equity and mezzanine debt investments into small- and medium-sized agribusinesses in East and West Africa. Nisaba’s average deal size will be $3-3.5 million for five-year terms, with the intent of earning 12-14 percent gross returns on the portfolio. Bamboo expects to achieve a first close and begin making investments by mid-2016.
The first social impact bonds in Israel are being developed with the help of Social Finance Israel and the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation. The partners are targeting higher education, a new field for the social financing instrument (other SIBS have supported criminal rehabilitation, healthcare and early childhood education). The Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, along with Bank Leumi and the Beyond Impact Investment Company, will invest 8 million Israeli shekels ($2.1 million) in an eight-year program to reduce drop-out rates among 600 computer science students in Israeli universities. Israel’s student drop-out rates in science and engineering fields can reportedly run as high as 40 percent. If successful, investors will be repaid by participating universities.
A health and human service nonprofit in New York can breathe a little easier about day-to-day finances with a loan from Nonprofit Finance Fund. NFF provided $3 million in working capital to Housing Works, which provides housing, medical care and other kinds of support to New York’s homeless and AIDS-affected communities.