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Community and Social Enterprise Lending

We help turn good ideas into great communities.

Many community groups and social enterprises in the Western Region have excellent ideas about how they can improve the socio-economic lives of their communities. The WDC’s Community Loan Fund was developed to give these groups access to the capital they need to help them turn those ideas into reality.

The loans we provide are designed for new activity, not for re-financing of existing loans, bridging loans or for feasibility studies.

We provide Term Loans for different types of projects, for example, enterprise and job creation initiatives including providing enterprise space. We also support projects providing social and recreational amenities or social care services, for example health and well being initiatives such as Sport, Environment Projects, Community Childcare, Family Resource Centres, Arts & Heritage, Tidy Town and projects which support Community Education.

Community/Social Enterprise lending amounts can be a minimum of €50k and a maximum amount of €250k over a maximum of 10 years.  Exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Where the entity is a Social Enterprise with a not-for-profit ethos but is deemed strategic in nature to the Western Region then the maximum loan amount can be €1m and over a maximum term of 20 years.  Exceptions on a case-by-case basis.   The criteria for a social enterprise project to be deemed strategic is that the project’s impact will be region-wide or sub-region-wide (minimum three counties*) or sector-wide and will support 100+ jobs.

The loans we provide are designed for new activity, not for re-financing of existing loans, bridging loans or for feasibility studies.

All projects must demonstrate positive cashflow and an ability to repay a loan over an agreed term.

*Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo

Apply here

Bridging finance against approved LEADER Grant offers

Community groups or social enterprises in the Western Region who have been approved for grant aid from LEADER can apply for Bridging finance against approved LEADER Grant offers.

The way it works is that to draw down LEADER grant aid the community group must first spend the money on the approved project and then they can draw down the grant against that spend. Naturally, some organisations simply don’t have that money to spend upfront and that’s where the WDC Investment Fund can help with a bridging loan. The community group can use the WDC bridging loan to make the initial expenditure and then repay the WDC bridging loan using the LEADER grant.

An interest rate of 5% per annum is charged to the loan on a monthly basis until the grant aid is approved. Then the LEADER company will pay the grant directly to the WDC and the bridging loan is repaid. Where the bridging loan goes over 12 months the fee increases to 6% of any outstanding balance. These rates to be reviewed on an annual basis.

If you are a community group or social enterprise based in the Western Region and have been approved for grant aid through LEADER funding, you can apply to us for a bridging loan by downloading our application form.

Western Investment Fund Application Portal

If you wish to apply, you should, first of all, assess whether your project meets the criteria outlined above.

Then go to our online application portal, where you can complete your application form and upload supporting documentation such as your business plan.

Apply here

Our Clients

  • Áras Inis Gluaire logo
  • Asha Ltd. logo
  • Beepark logo
  • CLÁR  logo
  • Drumshanbo enterprise logo logo
  • Kilkee Waterworld logo
  • Maghus Castle Kiltimagh logo
  • Moy Valley logo
  • Mullaghmore Sailing Club Logo logo
  • Picture palace logo logo
  • RHS Homecare logo
  • Sligo  logo
  • Tearmann Eanna  logo
Áras Inis Gluaire logo

Áras Inis Gluaire

Ardara Sheltered Housing Association logo

Asha Ltd.

Beepark logo


CLÁR logo


Kilkee Waterworld logo

Kilkee Waterworld

Maghus Castle Kiltimagh logo

Maghus Castle Kiltimagh

Moy Valley logo

Moy Valley

RHS Homecare logo

RHS Homecare

Sligo Logo


Tearmann Eanna logo

Tearmann Eanna