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.