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Better Together – SEFA Collaborative Financing

Over the past year, SEFA has continued its collaboration with philanthropy by hosting Foundation Roundtables across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – together with our partners Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Philanthropy Australia. These conversations allow for everyone to share impact investing experience to date and to explore how partnerships between investors and philanthropists can create bespoke capital solutions to increase both impact and financial resilience.

The first blended impact deal SEFA completed with VFFF is Tender Funerals, an affordable and funeral services in Port Kembla. In the past nine months of operations, the start-up has been able to assist 78 families in the end of life phase. At the same time, they have demonstrated that a social business model can be self-sustaining. You can read more about Tender’s personalised approach to dying in a recent interview with their Funeral Director Amy Sagar.

We are very excited to announce that our second blended deal has closed: SEFA’s existing client, Corryong Neighbourhood Centre in Corryong, is about to purchase their second business to be run as a social enterprise. After taking over the local bakery and training 5 young people at what is now the Upper Murray Community Bakery, they are about to establish additional training and employment opportunities for up to 10 young people by purchasing a mechanics workshop in nearby Walwa. A grant from the William Buckland Foundation leveraged a SEFA loan to assist with the purchase.

Currently, there are two other blended transactions we are working on, in partnership with foundations and government: An indigenous pre-school is looking to triple its capacity for the local community in Northern NSW and Shopfront, a youth arts co-op in Carlton.

Shopfront’s expert and passionate team engage over 1400 young people a year in programs including their multi-award winning Accessibility Program through which young people with disability participate in genuine artistic practice and an Outreach Program merging social work and art to create change and transformation for disengaged or at risk youth.

Shopfront was awarded a Federal government grant on the back of an approved SEFA loan for a significant upgrade and expansion of their premises which will create a desperately needed cultural hub for the region and provide alternative revenue sources through co-location opportunities for other arts and community organisations.

Obtaining grant funding as a piece of the overall funding puzzle often enable an initiative to go ahead, which is an exciting and much anticipated outcome for the organisation, philanthropy and impact investors!

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