EU Taxonomy

EU Taxonomy

In July 2020, the EU’s Taxonomy Regulation entered into force. This is a classification system which establishes a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities: climate change mitigation/adaptation, transition to a circular economy etc. This created a legislative framework which would provide the market with necessary confidence on environmental performance and help investors and companies to plan and report on the transition. 

Linking this to social finance, a recent mandate was introduced to advise the EU Commision on possibly extending the structure towards more of a social taxonomy which would contribute towards social objectives, such as business ethics, governance, access to healthcare, equality/non-discrimination etc. This would allow these social objectives to be acknowledged as a key element of future sustainable investing – which aligns with the concept of social finance. The ideas for these objectives can be seen below:

Source: Webinar on social taxonomy – Platform on Sustainable Finance

In recent times, there is pressure for those investing to take into consideration social issues when choosing their investment, as a lack of consideration about these topics carries a special risk – which includes possible contribution to climate change/breaches of human rights laws, malpractice of board members and failure to comply with fiduciary duty in tackling social issues. The taxonomy regulations are a strong example about how theories such as social finance need framework and legislation in order to be successfully put into practice. If the EU taxonomy pivots to prioritize the aforementioned social objectives, this will create a great opportunity for social finance to grow its resources and be able to have more of an impact across the sector.

Social Finance Survey Winners Announced!

Social Finance Survey Winners Announced!

Photo: Emmett O’Hara, Associate Director Community Finance Ireland; Marie McSteen, Director Balbriggan Meals on Wheels (accepting cheque); Christine Rafferty, Balbriggan Meals on Wheels, Director; and Liz Wall, Office Administrator, Balbriggan Meals on Wheels

Huge congratulations to the team at Balbriggan Meals on Wheels for winning the Financing Social Enterprise in Ireland survey. The team were presented with a €250 One4All voucher kindly sponsored by Community Finance Ireland. The survey asked respondents about their experience about social finance with their social enterprise in Ireland. The winners were chosen at random and presented on site with the Associate Director of Community Finance Ireland, Emmett O’Hara.

You can find out more about Balbriggan Meals on Wheels and their important work through their Facebook Page and some information below.


Balbriggan Meals on Wheels was founded in 1975. The kitchen was built in three months. All the work on the building was carried out by volunteer labour. The first meals were delivered on 1st January 1976. Some people who worked in the very first year are still with us today.

Balbriggan Meals on Wheels was established to provide meals for people who are ill, recovering from a serious illness, or for some reason are unable to provide meals for themselves. Balbriggan Meals Ltd still provides meals to the most vulnerable people in our community; they are people who are referred to us by Public Health Nurses and Social Workers. We operate six days per week and currently provide in the region of 80-100 meals per day in the wider Balbriggan Community.

Prior to Covid-19, we operated a Dinner Club at our base in Hampton Street, Balbriggan 3 days per week for approximately 25 people each day. This not only provided a meal for our clients but also offered an important social outlet for these people to meet up and enjoy the company of others. Unfortunately, our Dinner Club has been suspended since March 2020. We are hoping that we will soon be able to resume this service in some capacity over the coming months.

Balbriggan Meals on Wheels is an essential voluntary service that requires all the support it can get. The organisation, therefore, depends heavily on fundraising and donations.

We are delighted to have won the €250 One4AllVoucher and would like to thank Community Finance Ireland for this.

Resources for Social Finance in Ireland

Resources for Social Finance in Ireland

Today we would like to provide you with an overview of social finance resources available to Irish social enterprises. 

While the consortium is working on redressing the gap in suitable, tailored financial instruments for the growing social enterprise sector via the development of an investment strategy and related tools, we know that there are many of you in need of capital support to facilitate further growth right here and now. We hope that this blog post can point you in the direction of the social finance partner who can best support you on your journey.

It is our hope that over the next few years the following list will start to grow, in part due to this research project. At the moment, there are essentially two providers of social finance directly to Irish social enterprises.

Community Finance Ireland – one of our Consortium partners – is a so-called social lending organisation, provides loans to community projects and social enterprises looking to create social change and impact across the country. They provide a range of long-term and short-term, secured and unsecured loans ranging from €10,000 to €600,000. Clann Credo offers, like Community Finance Ireland, loan finance to community organisations and social enterprises, to support organisations making a social impact. Both organisations reinvest profits into their mission, showing how they themselves are part of the social economy.

Other financing opportunities include Microfinance Ireland, which are not social finance specific but provide unsecured business loans to micro-enterprises with viable business proposals. Other actors in the field include the Social Finance Foundation. It is however not part of the list directly, as they act not as a direct finance source for the sector but instead provide capital to Clann Credo and Community Finance Ireland as their lending partners. 

At a European level, the European Investment Fund, has started a range of initiatives under their Inclusive Finance mandate, however mostly via providing funding and other supports to intermediaries at national level.

If you know of any Social Finance resources we have not included in this post, please feel free to reach out to us and share your experience. We hope that over the next few months and years this list will continue to grow, so we might return to this topic at a later stage.

Thank You (and what comes next!)

Thank You (and what comes next!)

From the team at ‘Financing Social Enterprise in Ireland’ Project, we would like to extend a warm thank you to all of the social enterprises and social enterprise support organisations and stakeholders that helped us in this survey. We have lots of surveys to crack through in the coming weeks and we intend to come back to you with some findings and results.

We will announce the winner of the €250 One4All Voucher sponsored by Community Finance Ireland soon (with the winners permission) and we will continue to update everyone on our progress.

For now, each of the partners will continue to find out as much as we can about the social financing instruments and their effect on social enterprises. We will also contact you about getting social enterprises together to see how they might tell us more about their experience.

Please continue to check out our social media channels and our website for further information and help and support.

If you would like to send us any additional thoughts or you have something you would like to tell us, please do not hesitate to contact us by email too.

Survey Deadline Extended 6th August 2021 @ 12:00

Survey Deadline Extended 6th August 2021 @ 12:00

The Financing Social Enterprise in Ireland Project is delighted to extended our survey deadline to the 6th August 2021. We are surpassing our numbers that we need but we are hoping to collect as many voices as we can to help our understanding of the social finance spectrum in Ireland.

If you get 10/15 mins, please consider filling out the survey and contribute to our understanding. Please click the survey button below.

If you would like to find out more about the survey and the overall project, please consider clicking through here:

Financing Social Enterprise in Ireland Launch 14th July 2021

Financing Social Enterprise in Ireland Launch 14th July 2021

The ‘Financing Social Enterprise in Ireland – Models of Impact Investing and Readiness’ was launched this morning 14th July 2021.

This short 30 mins presentation aimed to give the background to the project, the overall aims and how anyone can get involved.

We would encourage everyone to share our important survey on experiences of social finance so that the project can better focus on opportunities for social enterprises to grow and thrive. 

Do you have something to say about how Social Enterprise in Ireland is financed?

Please give us 15 mins of your time to share your knowledge, experience and challenges.

A chance to win a €250 One4All Voucher (Sponsored by Community Finance Ireland)

Survey will remain live until 28th July 2021 @ 12:00

You can find the survey here:

Speaker Bios

Eoghan Ryan: Eoghan Ryan is Head of Social Enterprise for Rethink Ireland and has managed a portfolio of funds to the value of €10m from start-up to scaling stages of social enterprise development.

Nicholas Costello: Nicholas Costello is Deputy Head of Unit in the Social and Inclusive Entrepreneurship unit, within the Directorate-General for Employment of the European Commission. He works among other things on the taxonomy for sustainable finance. He has worked on the Social Investment Package, and before that on development, including eight years in Nigeria and China. He is an economist by training.

Deiric O Broin: Deiric Ó Broin is Professor of Public Policy Practice in the School of Law and Government in Dublin City University where he lectures in Irish politics and public policy. His research is mainly on Irish politics and public policy particularly the area of local and urban governance. He also works in the areas of public participation and deliberation, civil society involvement in public policy formulation, with a particular focus on the social economy. He is also Chairperson of the Board of Pobal which works on behalf of the Government of Ireland to support communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion and development, and Chairperson of the Social Economy Research Network of Ireland, a research network of established higher education institutions and individual academics and graduate students researching in the social economy, including the areas of social and solidarity economy, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, social finance and social innovation

Donal Traynor: Dónal Traynor joined Community Finance Ireland (then known as UCIT) in 2004 to set up its social financing proposition in the Republic of Ireland. Today he is CEO of the Community Finance Ireland Group responsible for managing the island of Ireland’s largest Social Finance provider, incorporating a group of companies dedicated to the provision of finance responsibly, with an ambition to Enable Communities Enable Themselves, and ensure Social Impact is Felt, rather than simply Dreamt. Dónal holds a degree in Economics & Geography from UCD, Grad. Dip. in Business Studies from UL, an MBS in Co-operative and Social Enterprise from UCC, and is QFA accredited from the Institute of Banking