There are different financial instruments which could help the social innovators enterprise/start-up to access finance. See the examples at the Have a look at tab for this section.

Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”  (forbes.com).

What is Crowd funding? Planning for Crowd Funding planning – What, How, Why and When? See the examples at the Have a look at tab for this section.

In completing this section you will have:

•    An understanding of the nature of stakeholders and how they might impact on a social entrepreneurs business.

•    A better understanding of Social Impact Investment (point 1) and some successful examples.

•    You will become (point 2) more familiar with the different forms of new enterprises that are involved in social business and social innovation today.

•    Finally, you will have a broad understanding of the alternative financing resources that existing for social / hybrid enterprises.

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CrowdFunding: Some definition and examples of Crowfunding Web Platforms

•    http://crowdfundcapitaladvisors.com/

Philanthropic Capital: Funding usually provided by corporate foundations for projects focusing on the social good.

•    Philanthropic Capital: what does it mean?

•    Unlocking Philanthropic Capital: An Interview with Sean Stannard-Stockton

Look at some videos on Philanthropic Capital:

•    Transform Your Treasures Into Philanthropic Capital: Gifting Business Interests and Real Property

Social Venture Capital: offers financial institutions the opportunity to invest in risk capital for companies engaged in social innovation.

•    15 Social Venture Capital Firms That You Should Know About

Look at some videos on Social venture capital:

Social venture Pitch –

Social Bonds: issued by banks to support the initiatives of high social interest; offer to subscribers a market rate of return, and the funding of the securities. The Bank disburses money for social innovation projects.

Social Impact Bond – a public program that produces savings for the community, with a financial intermediary that identifies interested investors; but the return on investment is tied to the success of the social project.

Definition –

Social Impact Bonds Webinar Panel –

European Direct Funds – a new EU funding programme EASI, managed by the EU Commission to foster, amongst other things – Microfinance and Social Innovation. See the video at

Define and analysing the problem – Example

Route cause analysis

Route cause analysis (2)

Problems analysis sheet

Define and analyzing the problem – Checklist

Tool for the analysis

Route causes analysis

The open book of social innovation – Young Foundation NESTA projects



A.     What are the core characteristics of impact investing? (you may choose more than one answer)
·    Investment with return expectations
·    Intentionality
·    Range of return expectations and asset classes
·    Impact measurement
·    Institutional and family foundations
·    Other

B.    What is the social enterprise? (true or false)(vero o falso)
·    Traditional business T or F
·    No profit enterprises, ONG, Charity… T or F
·    Low profit enterprise T or F

C.     What are the social enterprise sectors (you may choose more than one answer)
·    Agriculture & food
·    Social care
·    Education & Training
·    Recycling
·    Manufacturing
·    Social housing
·    Technologies
·    Business Services
·    Other

Explore further

COUNTRY SPECIFIC SUPPORTS (Networking and Funding)

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) http://socialentrepreneurs.ie/

Since 2004, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has supported 204 social entrepreneurs, investing more than €6.7 million in their projects, as well as providing significant training and mentoring supports. These projects in turn have directly impacted the lives of 520,000 people across Ireland, and created 1,230 jobs in the process.

SEI have seen the impact of Ireland’s leading social entrepreneurs increase significantly due to their funding and support. This group of 204 social entrepreneurs, along with other social entrepreneurs which SEI have engaged with through programmes such as the Arthur Guinness Fund and Vodafone World of Difference, now form the largest network of social entrepreneurs in Ireland.
Clann Credo http://www.clanncredo.ie

Clann Credo – the Social Investment Fund is a social enterprise which not only serves but is also proud to be a part of the Community and Voluntary Sector. They provide loans to community organisations, charities and social enterprises and help organisations achieve their social, economic and financial potential on terms and conditions that may not be available to them commercially.
The Wheel http://www.wheel.ie/

The Wheel is a support and representative body connecting community and voluntary organisations and charities across Ireland. Established in 1999, The Wheel has evolved to become a resource centre and forum for the community and voluntary sector.
Fundingpoint is an online database of funding grants for the Irish community and voluntary sector. Well stocked and meticulously researched, Fundingpoint does the research work so social entrepreneurs don’t have to!

The Wheels Fundingpoint resource gives social entrepreneurs one year’s unlimited access to over 840 funding grants, along with dozens and dozens of funding deadlines. Subscribers also receive the exclusive Fundingpoint Subscribers Newsletter, which delivers all the key funding information direct to your inbox at the start of every month.
Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) https://www.ucitltd.com/

UCIT is a Charity which provides loans exclusively to other third sector organisations such as community groups, charities, sports clubs and social enterprises in Northern Ireland and ROI. Since 2001 they’ve committed in excess of £50 million to over 360 organisations in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

UCIT was established in response to decreasing grant support from government and the difficulties experienced by community organisations in accessing commercial loan facilities. Start-up funding was received from LEDU (Invest NI) and the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) along with a £6.6m loan book from IFI, Department for Social Development and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). In 2007 UCIT received accreditation from the Social Finance Foundation, Dublin, to enable the organisation to access a fund for investment south of the border. During 2012 UCIT’s fund management company, UCI plc, achieved Financial Conduct Authority accreditation and the organisation was awarded the management of the £5 million NI Small Business Loan Fund by Invest Northern Ireland.

As a registered charity, all profits generated by UCIT are retained and recycled for reinvestment into the third sector.
Irish Social Enterprise Network (ISEN) http://www.socent.ie/

ISEN are working to make the social enterprise sector more visible than it currently is. They point people to the relevant resources, supports and information they need in the following ways:

• Events –where social enterprises can meet each other and share knowledge and ideas
• Training – sharing information on training and education opportunities from a range of sources and they plan to organise training opportunities for social enterprises
• Promotion – provide a space where social enterprises can tell their stories and highlight their successes
• Discussion – encourage debate on issues of relevance to social enterprises, featuring blog posts from and about people in the social enterprise sector who want their voices heard and stories told.