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Our social mission
We believe in backing entrepreneurs to make a difference. All our funds combine financial and social/environmental goals. All our activities are governed by our Ethical charter and our Responsible investment policy.
At Bridges Ventures, we are committed to working with ambitious entrepreneurs to help build great businesses with long-term value. We are active investors, providing support and advice to the companies we back including helping build effective boards.
Our founders, partners and investors are leaders in private equity, financial services, business and entrepreneurship. They provide valuable expertise and a huge network of contacts for Bridges Ventures. This in turn helps us work with our investments to give them the best chance to flourish.
Bridges Ventures currently has three sustainable growth funds under management. Launched in 2002, Bridges Sustainable Growth Fund I totalled £40m. It invests in ambitious businesses in the most deprived parts of England and aims to create role models of entrepreneurship, jobs and economic dynamism. Fund I has invested in businesses ranging from start-ups through to small management buy-outs and property-backed ventures.
In 2007, Bridges Ventures finished raising its second fund, Bridges Sustainable Growth Fund II. This is a £75m fund. Similar to Fund I, it invests in the most deprived parts of the UK. It also invests in businesses located outside those areas but bringing strong social/ environmental benefits in sectors such as healthcare, education and the environment.
In August 2009 we launched the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, an initiative of the Bridges Charitable Trust, to address the funding gap often faced by fast growing social enterprises looking to scale. Almost £12m has been raised so far from The Office for Civil Society and a mix of leading financial institutions, individuals and foundations. Bridges Ventures will use the skills and experience gained from our other funds to help the social enterprises we back to reach their full potential.
In November 2009, the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund was launched. This £28m fund invests in properties in regeneration areas and environmentally sustainable buildings that have potential to make strong financial returns as well as delivering social and environmental impact.
In August 2011, CarePlaces Fund - a partnership with Castleoak Group - achieved a first close of £32m. The Fund will invest in care home developments supplied by Castleoak.
In December 2011, we launched our third sustainable growth fund, Fund III, with a first close on equity commitments of £72 million. This sum was almost equal to the final close of our Fund II.
Fund III continues Bridges Ventures' focus on the provision of growth capital to small and medium sized businesses in sectors where underlying social or environmental need creates the opportunity for both commercial returns and positive impacts.