Welcome New RSF Borrowers
Oct 25 2021
We’re excited to add four new organizations to our loan portfolio. Read more below to learn about their missions and how RSF is supporting their work.
Diaspora Co. Spices
Diaspora Co. Spices is growing a better spice trade, equitably and deliciously. In the traditional supply chain, Indian spice farmers are typically under-compensated (an average of 2% of the final price), the spices change hands upwards of 10 times before reaching the consumer, and the final spice lands on store shelves 2-7 years after harvest.
Diaspora Co. Spices sources spices seasonally, and their products typically arrive to consumers within six months of harvest—these are the joys of spices that are always single origin and same-year harvest. They eliminate the middlemen sourcing from small, multigenerational family farms and pay them an average of six times commodity prices. Currently sourcing 30 single origin spices from 150 farms using sustainable farming methods across India and Sri Lanka, Diaspora Co. prioritizes strengthening communities by providing living wages for producers and improving environmental health.
RSF provided Diaspora Co. with a line of credit for working capital needs. As a female founded and run business that seeks to promote and uplift women within their business, the company was also a fit for the RSF Women’s Capital Collaborative, a philanthropic fund that supports women entrepreneurs. The Collaborative provided a guarantee to make the loan possible.
Learn more about Diaspora Co here.
Eastside Community School
Eastside Community School (ECS) is a growing Waldorf-inspired, kindergarten to 9th grade school located in the Seattle metro area. With a diverse curriculum and specially trained teachers, ECS supports the development of students—ethically, intellectually, socially, physically, spiritually, and artistically. By understanding, respecting, and nurturing each distinct phase of childhood, they inspire a genuine, lifelong love of learning.
ECS was looking for a long-term home when they connected with RSF. To purchase the 5-acre campus they found in Issaquah, WA, ECS needed to pull together funding from several sources. They secured a loan with RSF along with community debt raised from over 40 investors, including a local organization that will be co-located on the new campus. The RSF loan is backed by guarantees made possible by ECS board members. Dozens of ECS families and friends made charitable contributions. Also, RSF’s Waldorf Education Collaborative provided a recoverable grant to help the school manage cash flow related to the timing of gifts and investments.
Learn more about Eastside Community School here.
Evergreen Treatment Services
Since 1973, Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) has been working to transform the lives of individuals and their communities through innovative and effective addiction and social services, with a specific focus on high-risk populations impacted by opioid use disorder. ETS does this by operating three clinics in Western Washington providing person centered addiction treatment services using research based interventions and technologies, and through REACH, a street-based outreach, jail diversion and reentry, and housing case management service. ETS serves around 8,000 individuals annually, many of whom are currently experiencing homelessness.
The rates of opioid overdoses, case counts, and treatments have skyrocketed in the last decade. ETS offers a holistic approach to combat this prolific rise of opioid abuse and overdoses and the far-reaching negative impacts to communities. Their interdisciplinary team includes clinicians with advanced degrees in medicine, psychiatry, nursing, psychology, social work, counseling, and acupuncture. ETS’s services are especially important now as the pandemic has exacerbated the conditions for many of the people they serve.
RSF participated with Craft3, a Pacific Northwest focused Community Development Financial Institution, to help ETS purchase one of their facilities in the Seattle area.
Learn more about Evergreen Treatment Services here.
Innosphere Ventures is a 501(c)3 nonprofit science and technology accelerator focused on the business success of startups and emerging growth companies, with an exclusive commercialization program, specialized office and laboratory facilities, and a seed-stage venture capital fund.
For over two decades, Innosphere has been working to create jobs and grow Colorado’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The organization creates long-term, regional economic impact by offering clients access to a broad network of specialized resources.
Innosphere has found that demand for high-quality, affordable lab space surpasses the supply for bioscience businesses in the region. The existing Innosphere laboratories in the Fort Collins headquarters have been fully occupied throughout most of its existence, and there is a waitlist of companies ready for a research and development space.
RSF partnered with Native American Bank and the National Community Investment Fund to provide a source loan to a New Markets Tax Credit structure that will enable Innosphere to construct an additional building with approximately 10 laboratory spaces. This new building will provide bioscience and advanced industries the space to house their research and development operations at subsidized costs by giving them flexibility and affordability to grow their company, create jobs, and positively impact the local economy.
Learn more about Innosphere Ventures here.