LEAF focuses its lending to cooperatively-owned businesses and social enterprises that help create living wage jobs for low income individuals and communities. For example, LEAF has worked with Alternative Staffing Organizations (ASOs) that have placed over 8,000 low-income people with barriers to employment into temporary and permanent positions. In addition to job placement, these ASOs also provide education and support services.
In many community-owned and social enterprises, hard assets that can serve as collateral are often minimal, making them too risky for most traditional lenders. These enterprises require a lender like LEAF who can focus on the cash flow generated by the business and is willing to accommodate the specific needs of each organization.