Open Road Alliance expands working-capital loan fund for social-sector organizations

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Open Road Ventures, the expanded fund from the Open Road Alliance, is designed to fill a very specific need faced by social organizations: one-time cash crunches. “It’s an impact arbitrage opportunity,” Caroline Bressan, Open Road’s director of social investments, Bressan told ImpactAlpha in an earlier interview.

Open Road, founded and backed by philanthropist Laurie Michaels, plans to disburse at least $50 million in loans to nonprofits and social enterprises over the next five years; last year, it completed a $5 million pilot of the fund.

One pilot loan allowed Honey Care in Kenya to weather the bankruptcy of its largest customer. Income from loan repayments will be recycled for future lending.

Short-term loans are a safety net as social enterprises face an ‘unexpected OMG moment’