In The Common Interest – The Case for Social Finance in Ireland (Steering Committee on Social Finance),
Background to this publication:
A scoping study commissioned from Fitzpatrick Associates in 2000 identified the major gap for the social economy as the absence of a structured system of social finance. Social finance is loan finance made available on both commercial and community gain criteria for initiatives in the community interest. DEP, ADM Ltd. (now Pobal), Westmeath Employment Pact and the Clann Credo Social Investment Fund DEP then commissioned an in depth review of this issue, which was published as Social Finance in Ireland – What it is and where it’s going and launched by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern T.D. at a Policy Think In in the Department of the Taoiseach in 2003.
This Policy Think In led to the establishment of a National Steering Group on Social Finance (with representatives from the private, public and community sectors, financial services, etc.). The Steering Group agreed a joint policy document published as In the Common Interest – The Case for Social Finance in Ireland and launched in November 2004 by Finance Minister Brian Cowen T.D., who intimated that the recommendations of the Report would be acted upon by the Government.
In December 2006 Minister Cowen announced that a national system of social finance would be established, based on the recommendations of the report, and this emerged finally as the Social Finance Foundation with a budget provided by the leading banks of €30m and overseen by a Board composed of representatives of the financial and community sectors. (http://www.finfacts.com/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10009007.shtml)