First social venture capital investments in Poland finalised
Social and Economic Investment Company (TISE) has made first capital interventions using the FKIS Fund (Social Equity Investment Fund) by granting subordinated loans to two social enterprises, and also by taking up shares in one of them.
In autumn 2018, Social and Economic Investment Company won a competition organised by the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy under the EU’s programme POWER for developing a pilot social venture capital fund for social enterprises. In December 2019, Larigo Group, a non-profit company from Łódź Voivodeship, and Stowarzyszenie Klinika Jeździecka from Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship were the two social enterprises to become the first investees.
Social Venture Capital (SVC) is a method of financing using a venture capital strategy model and instruments known from the capital market to finance non-governmental organisations, social enterprises or activities that generate a large social impact. The traditional financing model is mainly based on loans or guarantees, and thanks to SVC, these entities can use the equity or quasi-equity instruments.
TISE has established a company – Fundusz Kapitałowych Inwestycji Społecznych (FKIS Fund), which will carry out the investments on its behalf.
As for Larigo Group, FKIS took up 29.6% stake in the Company’s capital and granted subordinated loans for a total of PLN 1 million (EUR 240 k) . The non-profit company Larigo Group was established by a social cooperative ‘Larigo Group’ in June 2019. The company handles industrial shredding and destruction of documents and electronic storage media. The investment aims to expand the Company’s reach from central region to nationwide by opening four new shredding facilities in different regions of Poland. This will enable the Company to broaden its client portfolio to include corporate clients. Larigo has 25 employees with disabilities (profound hearing impairment, epilepsy, schizophrenia, pervasive developmental disorders). The planned social effects include, among other things, hiring further 20 people with disabilities within 18 months.
Stowarzyszenia Klinika Jeździecka has received a subordinated loan of PLN 0,5 mln (EUR 120 k) to build an indoor arena to be used throughout the year. As a result, the number of disabled people who receive regular rehabilitation therapy will double. The Association was established in August 2018 and provides such services as hippo-therapy, horse breaking and carriage driving for disabled people. It also organises more ‘traditional’ classes for young and adult horse riders as well as offers accommodation at its guest house.
SVC is an innovative instrument that allows for financing even these projects and ideas of social entrepreneurs that sometimes go beyond the rigid framework for granting loans. This way, even very risky, but socially important projects may be implemented. I do hope that, if our pilot exercise is successful, we will be able to scale it up, and the development of Polish social entrepreneurship sector will gain momentum, declares Michał Radziwiłł, President of FKIS.
According to Milena Błaszkiewicz, President of Stowarzyszenie Klinika Jeździecka, such a financial instrument will make it possible for social enterprises without solid bank collateral to carry out projects important for the local community.
In this project, we use our many years of experience in both operating in the traditional venture capital market for several years and in lending to social economy entities in Poland and in Central Europe for more than ten years, says Mikołaj Kowalczyk, President of TISE.
About the project
PLN 11 million has been allocated for capital investments under the SVC-FKIS- TISE project. The funding comes from the EU’s Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development (measure 4.1. Social Innovation) and TISE’s own funds. Transactions may be concluded until end-June 2023 or until the funds are exhausted. The investments will be long-term, even up to 10 years.
The project offers financial support in the form of the following two financial products: capital and subordinated loans (facilitating the acquisition of financing from other sources) and consultancy for supporting investors.
The Fund supports entities across the country by investing in social enterprises of various legal forms that pursue projects in the areas of care services, creating jobs for people at risk of social exclusion, assistance in achieving or maintaining independence, and ecology.
Each social enterprise wishing to join the Programme will have to meet five basic criteria: