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20 Mar 2008 - 24 Apr 2022
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About the Soros Economic Development Fund
The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) is a nonprofit private foundation. It is part of the network of charitable foundations created by investor and philanthropist George Soros. Established in 1997, the fund’s mission is to alleviate poverty and community deterioration. It does this by making investments – in the form of equity, loans, guarantees and deposits – in selected banks, microfinance institutions, cooperatives and social enterprise projects worldwide.
Access to Financial Services
The working poor in both the informal and formal sectors are disproportionately overlooked by commercial financial institutions. With few tangible assets and negligible credit histories, they are often forced to rely on friends, family or predatory money-lenders for credit. They also have little or no access to savings accounts, appropriate insurance products or money transfers. Without these services families have few reliable means of building assets, managing emergencies, and planning for the future.
Project Selection
SEDF seeks ambitious projects that demonstrate strong social missions and sustainability goals. Our approach is to create social and economic benefit through financial leverage, develop local capacity to manage and expand the project, and exit with a successful program on the ground.Programs are negotiated and clients identified by SEDF’s management staff, often with assistance from the Soros foundations network, and recommended to SEDF’s board of directors when required.
Board of Directors
Herbert Sturz, Chairman
Reuben Abraham
Nasser Ahmad
Steven C. Rockefeller
Andrew Romay
Jonathan Soros
Robert Soros
Stewart J. Paperin, President
Neal DeLaurentis, Vice President
Fawzia Naqvi, Vice President
Daniel R. Eule, Treasurer
Ricardo A. Castro, Secretary
Maria Santos Valentin, General Counsel
SEDF'S Reach
Since its inception, SEDF has invested in thirty financial institutions, supporting entrepreneurs in nearly fifty countries. Although SEDF's activities have traditionally focused on Eastern and Central Europe, it scope has extended to Africa, South Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean.
From the Ground Up
Working for years as a subcontractor, Richard Motloung successfully bid for a government contract to install water and sewer lines in an affordable housing development in Gauteng Province South Africa. Unable to self-finance the project’s start-up costs, he turned to Nurcha, a national financier of affordable housing construction that has received SEDF support since 2003. Nurcha provided Richard with a line of credit with which he hired over forty workers. It also helped him source materials at the best possible price. “I would not have been able to do it without the support of Nurcha,” he says.
© 2007 Soros Economic Development Fund. 400 West 59th Street New York, NY 10019 | Tel: 212-548-0111 | Fax: 646-557-2551
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