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Clann Credo co-hosts Ireland's first Social Banking Conference

Delegates from 17 countries heard about how social finance can empower people, create and sustain jobs, and transform communities. They were attending Ireland’s first international conference on Social Banking in Kinsale at the end of June.

Ireland’s leading provider of community loan finance, Clann Credo, partnered with the German-based Institute for Social Banking to co-host the week-long International Summer School. The Institute for Social Banking is the international ‘thought’ leader in Social Banking. 

Clann Credo is proud to be part of this international movement, having introduced the concept of social finance to Ireland over 20 years ago. The conference took place in Kinsale and was the largest international gathering of its type. It is the first time the conference has been held in Ireland.

The conference brought together international experts and practitioners from social banking, microfinance, NGOs, co-operative and community financing from North America, Asia, Africa and Europe  to discuss the opportunities and challenges of this rapidly evolving field.

They represent such organisations as: Charity bank in the UK; ‘Youth for Human Rights' in Pakistan; Alternative Bank of Switzerland; GLA Bank in Germany; ‘Cure for Souls Foundation’; Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), Canada  and many more.  

“Social banks are different because they focus on long-term impact and they seek a ‘triple bottom line: planet, people  and fair profit. They meet the needs of the real economy and do not speculate on the financial markets“, says Sanika Hufeland, Director of the Institute for Social Banking, “ We knew Clann Credo had brought the concept of Social Finance to Ireland and we wanted to build on this by introducing the discussion on Social Banking.”

Clann Credo has more than two decade’s experience in supporting community development and social enterprise across a wide range of sectors, including: sports and culture, tourism, and vital social services. The organisation has provided over €82m in community finance to over 800 projects nationwide.

“The fact that Ireland has been chosen as the location for the 10th Annual International Conference on Social Banking is a clear recognition of the growing role of social and community loan finance in our economy and is also an acknowledgement of Clann Credo’s role in delivering innovative new forms of finance for locally-led development”, says Paul O’Sullivan, CEO of Clann Credo.

Irish speakers included: David Begg, Chairman of the Pensions Authority; Sheila Nordon, Chairman of the Social Finance Foundation and Jackie Harrison, Head of Development in the Community Foundation for Ireland.

The Institute of Social Banking (ISB)  fosters the development of social banking and alternative finance through public education, research and training programmes. The 2017 Summer School is focusing on recent and future developments and innovations in the Social Banking.

To see photos of the conference click here 

To see the presentations from some of the speakers- follow the links below:


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