From the Ground Up – How Social Finance Can Help Communities Regenerate & Create Jobs
The social economy is comprised of two key pillars: social finance providers and social enterprises.
Social finance providers are the chief source of loans, investments and seed capital for community businesses – or ‘social enterprises’ as they are more commonly known.
The key to the sector is the terms that attach to loan finance: social finance providers demand that all investments generate a financial and a social return.
Social enterprises must therefore show that they can repay the loan and deliver a positive, verifiable social gain.
Clann Credo – the Social Investment Fund was founded in 1996 and is a charity that operates as a social enterprise without any public funding.
All its capital is raised from private sources, mainly from religious charities and supplemented by the banking sector through the Social Finance Foundation. These funds are invested in projects that deliver a social as well as a financial return. This financial return goes towards covering the costs of its operation.
Clann Credo uses private finance for social purposes again, and again, and again: as each loan is repaid, it is recycled to another project, creating additional social dividends every time.