Approach

SEDF is a social investment fund that reinforces the Open Society Foundations’ mission. We do this by supporting economic opportunities and promoting access to information, products and services for underserved (excluded and vulnerable) populations in the countries where we work. We use a variety of Program-Related Investments (PRIs), including equity, debt and credit guarantees, to finance local businesses and initiatives that achieve these goals. On occasion, we may also provide grants for technical assistance or other essential support.

SEDF invests in small and medium enterprises (SMEs), investment funds and financial institutions that meet our criteria. We are disciplined investors focusing on companies that can provide both social and financial returns. We intend to demonstrate that both objectives can be achieved simultaneously thereby encouraging future private capital investments for these initiatives.  SEDF strives to be nimble and make decisions on a timely basis. We also conduct rigorous due diligence and demand good governance from our portfolio companies.

SEDF is not a passive investor. We generally take minority stakes, but require at least one board seat in each of our equity investments. SEDF seeks a financial return on its investments but invests at rates below the market risk-adjusted rate of return.