Local Enterprise Assistance Fund

United States of America

Last updated 12 May 2020, by Impactyield.

Edit this fund

LEAF’s mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people. LEAF specializes in lending to cooperatives, including community-owned food stores, resident-owned manufactured home parks, and worker-owned cooperatives. We also serve social enterprises, with a particular emphasis on alternative staffing agencies that provide employment and training for those with barriers to employment. LEAF actively seeks to deploy funds in our areas of expertise in Persistent Poverty Counties, which are defined by a poverty rate of over 20% for 30 years. The large majority of these counties are in rural areas and African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are disproportionately represented among these counties’ residents. LEAF is certified as a Community Development Loan Fund (CDFI) by the US Treasury, insuring that funds are used to serve low-income communities.

Asset class

Fund style

Not listed

Financial description

Capital invested in LEAF becomes part of a pool available for loans to new or emerging businesses in low-income urban and rural communities. LEAF provides business and housing loans, with housing loans primarily limited to resident-owned manufactured home parks. Business loans are made to worker- and consumer-owned cooperatives and the fund’s core investments focus on later stage investments and expansion of existing ventures. LEAF seeks risk-adjusted returns while promoting economic growth in low-income areas nationwide and invests with a view to realize its investment in 3-7 years. LEAF accepts capital in the form of loans with 2+ year terms and interest rates between 0-4%. Since its founding in 1983, LEAF has always repaid investors in full and on time. Key features of the fund that help protect investors: professional management has extensive lending experience; board of directors with legal, small business, and community development skills has final responsibility for loan approval; conservative loss reserve policy; an ample, board-designated reserve for the protection of investors; Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification from the US Treasury.

8 years

of track record


the year funded

10,000,000 USD


SDG goals

SDG targets

Equal rights to ownership basic services technology and economic resources

Safe and affordable housing

Universal access to safe and nutritious food

Promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises

Full employment and decent work with equal pay

Increase aid for trade support

Increase access to financial services and markets

Key performance indicators

Fund overview

Asset manager: LEAF: Local Enterprise Assistance Fund

Product track record: Fund has 8 years of track record

Target IRR: n.a.

Committed Capital: n.a.

Target return category: Below risk-adjusted market-rate of return

Fund domicile:

Product status:


Inception year: 2015

Vintage year: n.a.

Target region: , , ,

Target close date: n.a.

Product term: 2+ years

Assets under management: 10,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

Investment size: Min: 5,000; Max: 500,000; Avg: 100,000

Co-investment policy:

Currency of investments:

Currency for fund / product figures:

Fund investments to date: 74

Fund investments to date exited or repaid: 65

Management fee: n.a.

Carried interest: n.a.

Hurdle rate: n.a.

GIIN Investors' Council Investment: No

Limited Partners / Investors: Adrian Dominican Sisters, Amy Domini’s The Sustainability Group, CDFI Fund of The U.S. Treasury, Cooperative Charitable Trust, French American Charitable Trust, Mercy Fund, NCB Capital Impact, Religious Communities Investment Fund, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Seton Enablement Fund, Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Vincent on Hudson, Sisters of St. Francis, Philadelphia, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, Tzedec Economic Development Fund of the Shefa Fund, Trillium Asset Management Corporation, Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock

Limited Partner / Investor Type: Endowments/Foundations, Family Office, Other Institutional Investors, Retail Investors


E-mail: leaf@leaffund.org

Website: http://www.leaffund.org

Phone number: 617 232-1551

If you wish to have your details removed from this database please email gdpr@impactyield.com

Gerardo Espinoza

Executive Director

Impact Performance


Impact thesis

Since its founding, LEAF has invested and leveraged over $91 million for social purpose and cooperative enterprises, resulting in the creation or retention of more than 6,200 jobs. Since 2009 alone, LEAF loans to natural food co-op stores have benefited 36,000 families who now have access to quality food, as well as 1,370 family farms and 2,110 small businesses that sell to the co-ops. LEAF has also provided financing to Alternative Staffing Organizations, which have placed over 8,000 low-income people with barriers to employment into temporary or permanent positions.
In 2009, LEAF developed a subordinated loan product to serve the low-income resident-owners of manufactured home communities. These loans are aimed at communities where at least 75% of the households earn below 80% of the area median income.

Impact Management


Request information about this fund