New Slovak investment fund CB ESPRI Impact One to focus on activities with positive social impact
A joint venture between CB ESPRI and Slovak Investment Holding is set to launch the CB ESPRI Impact One Investment Fund, which will be the first Slovak investment fund with the goal of supporting the creation and development of NGOs and SMEs whose activities are of public benefit. CB ESPRI will act as the fund manager, while Slovak Investment Holding will provide the resources from the European Social Fund's Operational Programme Human Resources. The fund intends to invest up to €10.5 million in activities with a positive social impact outside of the Bratislava region by the end of 2023.
With a 60% stake, the majority owner of the fund is ESPRI, whose owner Miroslav Beblavý will be responsible for its overall management. Regarding the fund’s objectives, Beblavý says: “CB ESPRI Impact One is inspired by similar funds supporting the social economy in developed European countries. It wants to show that successful entrepreneurship and positive social impact can go hand in hand.”
The remaining 40% of the fund is owned by Crowdberry. “CB ESPRI Impact One's focus continues our vision to create favourable conditions for the creation and implementation of ideas that have a positive impact on the sector in which they operate, creating value for the economy and society as a whole,” adds Michal Ondrisek, Partner at Crowdberry.
The CB ESPRI Impact One Fund will provide financing to the above-mentioned entities if the investments support the development of their activities in seven Slovak regions, with the exception of Bratislava. The investments may take the form of an equity entry into the company or long-term quasi-equity financing, for example in the form of a subordinated loan. Beneficiaries should operate primarily in areas with a positive social impact, such as education and science, social, health, culture, environment, housing, human rights, or regional development.
“We don't provide grants, but investments that should return to the fund within ten years,” explains Beblavý. “The advantage for the company is that we can help even in situations where bank financing is not available, and on more favourable terms than on the purely commercial market. In return, the beneficiary must demonstrate a measurable positive social impact of its activities and support the employment of, for example, older people.”
One advantage that potential applicants will certainly welcome is the opportunity to multiply their capital through the additional investment tools that the Crowdberry ecosystem offers.
NGOs and companies can apply for investment via this online form.