We invest directly in companies through debt and equity, and indirectly through funds. Our investments range from seeding early-stage enterprises, to financing the scale-up of businesses with proven potential, to sustaining enterprises that need our support to continue delivering social value. We have significant flexibility in the scale and duration of the investments we can make.
In select instances, we can provide technical assistance grants to accompany or precede investment. These grants can include funding for market research, skills training and coaching before or after an investment is made, as well as support for product development and early incubator stage activity that will create the conditions for investment.
In pursuit of impact, we can link investees to broader Open Society advocacy strategies by engaging civil society and government.
We invest in enterprises that are developing new and better ways to deliver goods and services to marginalized communities, or which are exploring new ways to challenge dominant models of how companies or markets relate to owners, workers, customers, and the broader community. We support innovators taking high risks and seeking to accomplish bold goals.
Our goal is impact, rather than any particular financial return on our investment. Nevertheless, in our analysis of each investment, we carefully assess the financial and operational sustainability of the enterprise alongside the impact goals.
We ensure that an investee company or fund complies with our minimum environmental, social, and governance standards, and we assess the extent to which it supports progress towards our long-term targets. Throughout the life of an investment we develop plans to address any gaps, drive improvements, and foster best practices wherever possible.
We want to invest when our investment can truly add value beyond just our capital. We ask the question: Why us? To what extent will SEDF’s investment be catalytic in enabling this enterprise to achieve the anticipated impact, beyond what is already possible with its existing capital or capital from other investors?