Social Venture Fund

  • Social Venture Fund

    “Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving.” Henry Ford

    The Social Venture Fund invests in SOCIAL ENTERPRISES, which have innovative and entrepreneurial driven solutions for urgent social and environmental challenges. The Fund provides support, when it is not possible to acquire traditional sources of capital. Therefore the Social Venture Fund closes a financing gap and acts as a catalyst for the comprehensive distribution of creative ideas and solutions for the better. The Social Venture Fund‘s goal: preserve and recycle invested capital for future investments.

    For investors such as Panahpur, the Social Venture Fund is a unique way to enable and participate in successful, as well as sustainable social change, by investing into carefully selected companies.

  • A Case Study

    – Headquarters: Berlin
    – Area of activity: Berlin, later Germany and parts of Europe
    – Innovation: AUTICON utilizes the special skills of people with Asperger Autism, trains them to be software -testers and deploys them as consultants in IT Departments within large and

    medium sized organisations.
    – Beneficiaries: People with Asperger Autism
    – Clients: IT companies, companies with IT departments
    – Year of foundation: 2011
    – Website:

    Background and challenge
    Nearly 1% of the world‘s population has autistic behavioural characteristics. Because of their limited social skills in terms of interaction and communi-cation, they have little chance to obtain a good education, let alone to pursue a successful career. In Germany alone, the state spends billions of euros per year to support half a million people with autism. In the long run, it makes more sense to put these capable, often very talented people in a position to earn money themselves and thus become active members of our society and our economy.There is a special form of autism called Asperger‘s autism (known from films such as „Adam“). Approximately 15% of people with Asperger‘s syndrome demonstrate above-average capabilities in the IT field.
    The entrepreneurial solution
    The social business AUTICON employs individuals with these outstanding abilities in specialized IT services such as software testing. With their attention to detail and sus-tained high concentration levels in repetitive tasks, the employees of AUTICON achieve significantly lower error rates than the average IT tester. Companies employing AUTICON IT testers will be provided with training in how to deal and communicate with autistic people.
    AUTICON is set up in Berlin, where there are conservatively calculated over 350 potential employees with Asperger’s syndrome who can be trained as software testers.
    The medium-term goal is the expansion of AUTICON into other German metropolitan areas. The concept of AUTICON is based on a business model that works well for other successful European social enterprises. In its set-up phase, AUTICON will receive valuable support and advice from the Belgium based company Passwerk (, which is already successfully established in the market.
    The Social Entrepreneur
    Dirk Mueller-Remus studied eco-nomics and worked as project manager in the commercial software development of Siemens.He then was a management member of Aastra Technologies, a Berlin-based company in the field of communication technology, and led its outsourced IT subsidiary. Most recently, Mr. Mueller-Remus was on the board of directors of NovaVision AG in Magdeburg, a company engaged in developing and marketing a therapy to treat vision problems based on neurological issues.
    Mr. Mueller-Remus is married and has four children, including a 19-year-old son who was diagnosed with Asperger‘s autism. In the last two years, Mr. Mueller-Remus has intensively researched the issue of „Autism and Employment“.
    Support by the Social Venture Fund
    The total need for capital invested by the Social Venture Fund for the market entry of AUTICON in Germany amounts to 500,000 EUR. The capital will be paid in four tranches as mezzanine financing with a reasonable fixed interest rate.
    In addition, the investors of the Social Venture Fund will participate in the success of AUTICON. Participation is limited to five to six years. The repayment of the „patient capital“ comes from AUTICON’s surplus, generated by its own procurement of software testers with autism to customers. In addition to financial support, the Social Venture Fund will serve on the advisory board and offer support through its network of active investors. Support is given as tangible support, help with selecting and appointing new team members and consultation during the roll-out of the project. The Social Venture Fund will also assist AUTICON in identifying new potential clients from the private sector.
  • Key Info

    Issuer NameSocial Venture Fund
    Investment NameSocial Venture Fund
    LocationMunich, Germany
    Nature of BusinessVenture Fund investing in social businesses across Europe
    EntrepreneurJohannes Weber & Florian Erber
    Investment DateJanuary 2012
    Total Investment RoundEuro 7m
    Panahpur InvestmentEuro 100,000
    Nature of InvestmentEquity in LLP
    Target Return4% IRR
    Estimated Redemption2022
    Panahpur FundImpact

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