Hybrid Social Finance Loan – closes 8th of December 2023

The Hybrid Social Finance Loan is a partnership between Rethink Ireland, Community Finance Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. It aims to build the capacity of social enterprises that are first-time borrowers. The first open call took place between mid May and early July 2023. This time we are inviting social enterprises to our second open call. 

This unique new financial instrument will provide a mix of a loan that must be paid back, along with a non-repayable loan and business support for up to 20 social enterprises in total. The Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund has committed €890,000 for this Fund. In addition, Community Finance Ireland will provide approximately €500,000 in repayable loans.

At present, there is a lack of investment readiness among social enterprises and there is no tailored financial instrument that fits the needs of the growing social enterprise market. The Hybrid Social Finance Loan aims to tackle these gaps following extensive research on financial instruments for social enterprises in Ireland and consultation with the sector.

A key requirement for applicants is that their social enterprise must not have borrowed money before. Start up social enterprises and/or those that have less than 5 years trading would have an advantage over other applications.

Each Award will include:

  • A total loan of between €20,000 and €100,000 which includes

    a) A repayable loan between €10,000 and €50,000 provided by Community Finance Ireland which can be financed over five years at a competitive rate.

    b) A non-repayable loan for up to the same amount provided by Rethink Ireland upon delivery of agreed milestones. It will be paid in two instalments, over a period of one year, at the start and end of the six month capacity building programme.

  • Capacity building supports for the amount of €10,000 provided by Rethink Ireland which includes tailored Business support and a place on a six month Rethink Ireland Accelerator Programme.
    – Business support will focus on improving the investment readiness of the selected social enterprises. Business support will be tailored to the specific needs of each social enterprise and carried out by approved consultants.

    – Rethink Ireland’s Accelerator is a unique offer, equipping Awardees with the skills needed to expand and deepen their impact. It provides training from best-in-class experts across the private, nonprofit and public sector. Training is provided across a range of functions and may include Impact Management, Communications, Sustainability and Strategy, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

You can apply to the Hybrid Social Finance Loan via the online portal from 25th September 2023 to 8th December 2023 at 1pm.

Please join us for our application clinic to find out more and answer any questions that you have. During these sessions, we will also discuss tips for submitting the financial documentation required:

For any questions you may have please contact hybridsocialfinance@rethinkireland.ie