LIT’s Information and Compliance Officer and Ennis native Garrett Greene, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Ireland’s Social Finance Foundation (SFF) from July 2021.
Established by Government in 2007, the charitable Foundation has a current worth of €70-million. It acts as a wholesale bank to social lenders, Clann Credo and Community Finance Ireland, loan-funding thousands of socially-beneficial projects throughout Ireland in the community & voluntary, sporting, heritage, social-enterprise and social-care sectors, for which normal bank-lending would be beyond reach. Those projects support around 1200 jobs nationwide.
The Foundation recently secured additional loan facilities of €25-million from Ireland’s pillar banks and has succeeded in negotiating a conditional part-guarantee from the European Investment Fund.
The Foundation is a key actor in the area of ‘personal microcredit’, in collaboration with Credit Unions, pioneering low-interest small-loan facilities for personal borrowers whom might otherwise rely on high-interest ‘payday loans’ or illegal money-lending. Micro-Finance Ireland, a key lender to business start-ups, is a subsidiary of the Foundation and has recently become a channel for Government lending to small-businesses impacted by Brexit and Covid.
Garrett has been a Non-Executive Director of SFF since 2015, chairing the Credit Committee and stewarding the Foundation’s Loan-Book, since 2017.
Directors selected Garrett for the position of chair following a sealed board consultation-process, in January of this year.
Given the Foundation’s charitable status and social-remit, Garrett will adopt the role on a voluntary and unremunerated basis, devoting his personal time to its duties.
Assuming his new role Mr Greene said he was mindful of the substantial governance responsibility and the confidence shown in him by SFF Board of Directors.
“The Foundation’s success is the success of communities and projects and people. We bring the banking, public and social-sectors together and when those three sectors work in tandem, with the right aims, communities can be empowered,” he said.