RSF Social Finance Invests $5.5 Million in Social Enterprises in Q1

Three new loans expand RSF’s commitment to community climate resilience, sustainable food, and alternative business models

Natural Investments advisors and staff at their annual company retreat. Facilitated in part by a $1 million loan from RSF, Natural Investments became the first wealth advisory firm in the United States to transition to perpetual trust ownership.

 San Francisco, CA (April 29, 2024)—RSF Social Finance added three new loans to its portfolio in the first quarter of 2024, investing a total of $5.5 million in three social enterprises that are challenging the status quo and creating positive impact in the energy, food, and finance sectors.  

The loans support four of Sunwealth’s community solar projects; fuel 88 Acres, a women-founded and -led company that makes whole-food snacks, through a growth spurt; and back the transition of Natural Investments to a perpetual purpose trust ownership structure. 

“We’re happy to provide new resources to these excellent companies in three of our core lending areas: alternative ownership, climate and environment, and natural products,” said Michael Jones, RSF’s vice president of lending business development. “We’re also pleased to expand our relationship with the mission-driven Walden Mutual Bank, which is a partner on two of these loans.” 

Sunwealth: increasing access to affordable solar power 

RSF led a $3 million loan, with participation from Walden Mutual Bank, for Massachusetts-based Sunwealth, which addresses climate change in a way that not only protects the most vulnerable communities but also gives them a real share in the clean economy. RSF has now invested $13 million in the solar developer, the largest commitment the lender has ever made to a single borrower. 

The latest funding supports four solar projects, located at a school in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; a community homeowners association building in Hemet, Calif.; a nonprofit music camp in Sidney, Maine; and a commercial site in Woodbridge, N.J. The installations provide clean, renewable energy while delivering extensive benefits to their communities. Combined, they will generate about $11 million in lifetime energy savings, reduce over 85,708 metric tons of carbon emissions, and create nearly 118 lifetime solar jobs. 

88 Acres: sustainable, allergen-friendly food from a women-led business

Reflecting its commitment to investing in women-led social enterprises and in sustainable, healthful, and whole food companies, RSF is supporting 88 Acres by purchasing $1.5 million of a $2.5 million revolving line of credit from Walden Mutual Bank. The funding will fuel 88 Acres through a period of exceptional growth, helping it deliver on a contract to provide nut-free, vegan, and health-conscious snack bars to Delta Airlines. The company expects to double in size in 2024. 

Motivated by her now-husband’s surprise allergic reaction on their fourth date, founder Nicole Ledoux built her company to supply allergen-friendly foods while fostering a more inclusive and empowered community. Rather than take the more typical route of using a contract manufacturer, the maker of seed-based bars and butters partnered with a neighborhood economic development group and a local food startup accelerator to build a small-scale bakery in urban Boston, where it could control the production environment and provide neighborhood jobs. 

Natural Investments: converting ownership to democratize decision-making

Facilitated in part by a $1 million loan from RSF, Natural Investments became one of the first 50 businesses in the U.S. to convert to perpetual purpose trust ownership—and the first wealth advisory firm to make this bold transition. The loan, officially closed Dec. 29, 2023, supports Natural Investments’ move to democratize its governance and reduce the power long held largely by white male partners. 

In place of individual ownership, the new structure puts power in the hands of an adviser-elected Trust Stewardship Committee. Each Trust Steward serves a term and has an equal vote on strategic and financial decisions. The move provides an exit strategy for existing partners while passing power to a younger, more diverse generation of leaders—the first Trust Stewardship Committee is 43% women and 29% people of color. 

All three loans are financed through RSF’s Social Investment Fund, which enables investors to directly support high-impact social enterprises while earning a financial return. See other borrowers supported by SIF investors here. 

About RSF Social Finance 

RSF Social Finance offers innovative opportunities to invest, give, and get funding that generates positive social, economic, and environmental impact. Since 1984, RSF has made over $1 billion in loans and grants supporting social enterprises in the areas of food and agriculture, education and the arts, and climate and the environment. Find out more about how RSF connects social entrepreneurs with diverse forms of capital. 

Media Contact 

Christine O’Connor 

Thinkshift Communications 


(m) 203-927-1753 

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