On 8 February 2007 I launched the Social Finance Foundation to implement the Social Finance Initiative announced in Budget 2006. The Foundation has been established on a not-for-profit basis to act as a wholesale supplier of social finance for on-lending by specialist social finance lenders to support social and developmental projects and social enterprise in local communities.
The Foundation is a private company limited by guarantee established under Company Law and is governed by its Board of Directors under its Memorandum and Articles of Association. The company has received seed funding of €25 million from the Irish banking sector to support qualifying social finance lenders who will on-lend to individual social finance projects.
The Foundation's lending policies and procedures as well as the appointment, role and responsibilities of staff and their terms and conditions of employment are matters for the Board of the Foundation. The Board is chaired by Mr Peter Quinn and information on the other directors of the Foundation is included in the press release issued by my Department on 8 February 2007 which is available on the Department's website at www.finance.gov.ie. I understand that the Social Finance Foundation has approved loans totalling €3.7 million, of which €2.1m has been drawn down to date.
I see the work of the Foundation as a catalyst for deeper participation by private finance in the area of local and community development and social enterprise in line with the objectives of the social partnership agreement Towards 2016 to promote social finance and philanthropy.