News & Reports  >  News

New social enterprise policy will promote jobs and services at community level countrywide.

New social enterprise policy will promote jobs and services at community level countrywide, says Clann Credo

July 18th, 2019

The announcement of the government’s new ‘National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022’ today has been warmly welcomed by Ireland’s largest social finance provider, Clann Credo - Community Loan Finance.

Addressing the official launch of the policy by Michael Ring, T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, in Dublin today, (Thursday July 18th), Paul O’Sullivan, CEO of Clann Credo said that the policy delivers for the first time a detailed road map “to allow expansion of sustainable social enterprise activity in Ireland.

“This in turn will lead to both provision and preservation of badly needed jobs and services at local level in every region of Ireland.”

As the policy states, development of social enterprise involves both the implementation of actions delivered within a short timeframe while at the same time, other measures will require ongoing development, Paul O’Sullivan said:

“I wish to publicly acknowledge and thank Minister Ring, whose commitment to the development of rural and urban communities resulted in the government, for the first time ever, adopting a clear policy for social enterprise development.

Clann Credo established the Social Enterprise Task Force (SETF) ten years ago and we are delighted to be here today to see the SETF’s research and advocacy finally paying off.”

“The establishment of a National Social Enterprise Policy Implementation Group is key to the next stage; to implement policy. By bringing social enterprise stakeholders together, the Implementation Group will provide the necessary coordination to ensure the successful implementation of the actions detailed in the policy. The policy, which benefited greatly from the research work undertaken jointly by the Department and the Social Finance Foundation, correctly and forensically identifies areas such as business planning, mentoring, leadership, governance, capacity building, financial planning and digital innovation as key areas to assist social enterprise development.”

“While appropriate funding will need to be provided to assist social enterprise development, the commitment to provide a coordinated range of non-cash supports is an equally important element of the policy” he continued “synchronising and aligning the activities of the social enterprise stakeholders who currently give such support has the potential to deliver a lot of benefit to social enterprise development.

For example, Local Development Companies working in collaboration with national support organisations, are ideally placed to deliver support for local social enterprise development.”

“Clann Credo and the other stakeholders are determined to work together and with the Department so that social enterprise can reach its full potential. Clann Credo has offered loan finance to community-based organisations, including social enterprises, for more than two decades and to date has disbursed over €120 million in loans. We have helped over 1,000 organisations, some that operate exclusively as social enterprises while others, such as charities and community groups engage in some social enterprise activity to deliver much needed services locally.”

“This new policy will greatly assist the many hundreds of organisations that are committed to delivering positive social or environmental outcomes and who reinvest their profits in their community. We look forward to continuing to support their ambition. Clann Credo’s 20 years of experience has shown us that the spirit of social enterprise is intrinsically linked to the desire to deliver social benefit, promote social justice and when allied to a community-based and volunteering commitment, it fosters social cohesion.”

“Clann Credo very much looks forward to supporting the Minister and his officials in the roll out of this ambitious plan,” Paul O’Sullivan said.


*Paul O’Sullivan is CEO of Clann Credo - Community Loan Finance. Clann Credo supports Ireland’s community-based organisations by providing Community Loan Finance to voluntary organisations. social enterprises and charities with a positive social impact and that demonstrate repayment capacity. Typical clients are community-based organisations that are growing their services in order to provide improved benefits to their community/customers.

In 2011 he was appointed by Michel Barnier, then European Commissioner for Internal Markets, to the European Commission Expert Group on Social Enterprise (GECES). He contributed to the Group’s Report which was adopted by as Commission policy in 2017. He was appointed in 2018 to the Expert Group overseeing the implementation of the policy.

Paul is currently Chairperson of the Wheel, which represents over 1,600 charities, community and voluntary organisations including social enterprises.

In 2009 he, along with Philip O’Connor of the Dublin Employment Pact, founded the Social Enterprise Task Force, to advocate for and promote a greater understanding of social enterprise in Ireland.


John Gallagher, John Gallagher Consulting

087 936 9888

more news >>