Bridges Ventures provides CASA with platform for future growth

19 May 2011: Social enterprise Care and Share Associates (CASA), which develops employee-owned domiciliary care companies, and Bridges Ventures, the sustainable growth investor, have finalised terms on an initial £200K investment designed to enable the company to prepare for future expansion. The investment will be made by Bridges Ventures’ Social Entrepreneurs Fund in the form of a Social Loan financial instrument, which enables social enterprises to attract investment with returns linked to turnover and social impact.

CASA is the UK’s leading employee-owned social enterprise in the social care sector with a mission to greatly enhance the sector by providing more rewarding roles for employees, and better care and outcomes for patients. Staff receive high-quality training and its employee ownership model allows them to influence decision-making and benefit from the success of the company. CASA has built and developed four stand-alone companies to date, opening its first in North Tyneside in 2004, and a fifth site will open shortly. It has plans for further sites and will utilise the funding to build a robust platform for growth.

Commenting on the announcement, Margaret Elliott OBE, director of CASA, said:

“We are excited by the opportunities presented by the Bridges Ventures investment. Employee ownership and the provision of health and social care fit together like ‘hand and glove’. With the backing of Bridges Ventures, CASA can now extend its model of care provision to a much wider audience.”

Antony Ross, Executive Director at Bridges Ventures, said:

“We are excited to be supporting CASA and are confident that the team has a compelling opportunity for future growth. We believe that the market for domiciliary care is one in which social enterprise can deliver considerable impact and this has already been demonstrated by CASA. This investment is our second to use a Social Loan facility to enable growth within dynamic social enterprises delivering public sector contracts.”

Bridges Ventures is a sustainable growth investor whose commercial expertise is used to deliver both financial returns and social and environmental benefits. Launched in 2009, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund aims to address the funding gap often faced by fast growing social enterprises looking to deliver positive social impacts and operating sustainable business models.

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For all media enquiries and image requests contact:

Claire Maloney, Capital MSL for Bridges Ventures Email: claire.maloney@capitalmsl.com Tel: +44 (0)20 7307 5341 / +44 (0)7770 958 479

Bernice Saltzer, Sorted PR for CASA Email: bernice@sortedpr.com Tel: +44 (0)191 265 6111

Notes to Editors:

About CASA

CASA is the UK’s leading employee-owned, homecare social enterprise, and, with its founder organisation Sunderland Home Care Associates (SHCA), was named Social Enterprise of the Year, 2006.

With five CASA units in operation, providing more than 13,000 hours of care per week, CASA is viewed by the Department of Health and others as a trail-blazer in health/homecare social enterprise franchising and replication. CASA supports the operation of CASA Social Franchise Units in Calderdale, Halifax, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Manchester.

CASA units are registered with the Care Quality Commission and deliver a range of home care, support and independent living services. This involves assisting people in their own homes with tasks like dressing and bathing and domestic chores such as housework and shopping as well as providing support for disabled students in universities and colleges.


About Bridges Ventures

Bridges Ventures is a sustainable growth investor whose commercial expertise is used to deliver both financial returns and social and environmental benefits. Bridges Ventures currently has three types of funds under management: The Bridges Venture Funds I & II, the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund and the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Seeded by the Bridges Ventures Charitable Trust, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund was launched in 2009. It is a quasi-equity fund which provides an innovative financing solution that is tailored to the needs of ambitious social enterprises. The fund invests in the form of equity-like capital, which shares in the risks but also the returns of social enterprises. Investments are coupled with hands-on advice and support to help the social enterprises realise their potential.