Increased access to social finance loans for social sector announced

Increased access to social finance loans for social sector announced

Monday 18th May 2020

The Social Finance Foundation, in conjunction with Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), has announced two new funding initiatives that have been welcomed by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD. The funds will mean greater access to social finance loans for organisations in the social sector.

€44 million in additional low-cost funding from Irish banks

Under this agreement, the Irish banks will make an additional €44m in low-cost funding available to the Social Finance Foundation over the period 2021 to 2025.

€25 million in Loan Guarantees from European Investment Fund

Under this agreement, the European Investment Fund has agreed to provide loan guarantees totalling €25m to support new lending by the Foundation. The €25m Loan Guarantee is being made available under the European Union’s Employment and Social Innovation programme, part of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Further information on the announcement is available on the Social Finance Foundation website at:  

National COVID-19 Impact Survey of Social Enterprises

National COVID-19 Impact Survey of Social Enterprises

The Department of Rural and Community Development is seeking the views of the social enterprise sector to ensure a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Department asks that all social enterprises complete this short survey which should only take about 10 minutes.

Further details can be found on the website of The Department of Rural and Community Development >>

Speedpak Group Activity During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Speedpak Group Activity During the Covid-19 Pandemic

At Speedpak we are currently focussing on those parts of our commercial business that are deemed essential. We are proud to play a part in this national effort by helping to ensure working supply chains and distribution channels for disposable food trays and containers and for PPE equipment, with particular emphasis on the needs of the medical sector.

The safety of our staff and the wider community is paramount. As a consequence we are operating with reduced staff levels to ensure we can operate recommended social distancing in the workplace, while at the same time providing contract packing and fulfilment service to our customers.

We have facilitated home-working for those of our staff who undertake administration, finance, training and communications and we continue to provide support to our customers by email and telephone at 01 867 1707 and

We continue to work towards our strategic objectives to support our community by:

  • Maintaining regular contact and providing support to our 50 trainees on our labour market programmes, Community Employment & TÚS
  • Continuing to meet good governance requirements with Board and Sub Committee meetings being held remotely
  • Updating our partners – State, Corporate & Philanthropic Investors and Community on our activity and experience managing our way through this challenging period
  • Planning for post Covid-19. With unemployment set to reach 28% nationally, we’re planning on how we can provide over 100 work experience and training opportunities to people who have lost their jobs. We will offer industry led training and work experience to update their skills, maintain their confidence and self esteem and help them stay connected to the labour market until such time as more jobs are created in the economy.

It goes without saying that this is a difficult time for everyone. We greatly appreciate the hard work of our staff and the input from our customers, suppliers, neighbours, investors and industry partners.

We offer heartfelt thanks to all those people who are working so tirelessly in so many professions to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Stay safe and stay well!

Some of the 10 million face masks waiting to be dispatched from Speedpak.

We have put the following procedures in place:

  • We have published a comprehensive and regularly-updated employee communications policy to ensure reliable, up-to-date information is provided to employees and to clarify procedures and policies around mitigating the risks associated with Covid-19 in accordance with Irish government, HSE and WHO guidelines.
  • We have identified all common touch points and have implemented a set of procedures for thoroughly and regularly sanitising these points.
  • We have posted a set of highly visible, strategically-placed information panels in our warehouses and in bathrooms to inform of good hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • We provide a sufficient supply of hand sanitisers, sanitiser stations, gloves, masks, paper towels and disinfectant materials.