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BAFF - Baltic-American Freedom Foundation

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History

In 2010 the Baltic-American Enterprise Fund created a major legacy foundation, the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF) and authorized the creation of a series of work and educational exchange programs.

History

In 1989, the United States Congress enacted the Support for East European Democracy Act (SEED), which authorized the creation of enterprise funds to assist the development of private market economies in Central and Eastern Europe. SEED established the funds as unique "public-private partnerships" for the purpose of investing U.S. government funds to support the private sector and nascent market economies of Poland and Hungary. Subsequent Foreign Appropriations Acts extended the authorization to establish funds in other Central and Eastern European countries, including the Baltic States.

From 1989 to 1994, the U.S. Congress, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), appropriated $1.3 billion to establish 10 new investment funds, known collectively as the Enterprise Funds, throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Baltic-American Enterprise Fund (BalAEF)

The Baltic-American Enterprise Fund or BalAEF was established in 1994 to contribute to the private-sector development in the Baltic States. BalAEF’s work in the region was focused on the development and funding of primary and secondary mortgage market activities and the provision of capital to growth-oriented companies. The fund originated more than 4,000 mortgage loans and financed more than 100 businesses. By late 2008, as BalAEF prepared to exit its investments, the fund’s leadership turned attention to what the fund might “leave behind” as a legacy to continue to enrich ties between the United States and Baltic citizens. Taking a cue from other Enterprise Funds, BalAEF’s leadership began setting up a legacy foundation, which became the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation or BAFF. The board saw BAFF as a natural outgrowth of the fund’s original mission.

In early 2010, BAFF began with an endowment of about $40 million USD. In April 2010, BAFF was incorporated as a foundation and authorized the creation of work and educational exchange programs collectively known as BAFF Scholarships.

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Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF)
Valdemara Centrs
Kr. Valdemara 21
Riga, LV-1010
phone: +371-67035270
email: info@balticamericanfreedomfoundation.org

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