Performance among most soft-loan funds has been weak and many have closed down altogether.

Nevertheless, over 200 such funds are still operating, and many new ones are being created. We estimate that such funds currently control over £50 million in assets. Transforming them to radically enhance their performance and make them more sustainable is therefore an important undertaking. The report includes a review of fund performance and detailed case studies and sets out the key building blocks for a strategy to transform their performance.

This report forms part of the research conducted by the New Economics Foundation for the report The State of Community Development Finance 2001 which was supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.