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How Initiative Ireland is building better futures with their digital investor community

Initiative Ireland is inviting Irish investors, companies and financial advisors to join their digital investor community and co-fund the construction and sale of new social and affordable houses nationwide


Initiative Ireland’s community of over 1,000 investors has co-funded the construction of over €33m in social and affordable housing to date.

“We believe personal investors should also have access to the same quality of secured lending opportunities as large international companies. You shouldn’t have to choose between doing good and earning a good return. Those are the principles that led us to found Initiative Ireland,” explains Padraig W. Rushe, CEO of Initiative Ireland. 
Having worked in risk management and commercial roles with Irish banks and alternative lenders, he co-founded the business in 2015 with a view to delivering a more honest, fair and inclusive alternative to bank lending and traditional investment opportunities. 

How it works

Initiative Ireland provides construction finance to experienced property developers, supporting the construction of energy efficient social and affordable housing projects nationwide. These loans are carefully assessed and managed from start to finish by Initiative Ireland and co-funded by its investor community, who earn returns of 6 per cent - 8 per cent APR committing from as little as €1,000 per loan. Each loan is reviewed by the company’s credit committee, whose members have significant experience lending across multiple credit cycles on behalf of Irish banks and alternative lenders. Loans are also independently reviewed by the company’s primary credit partner, which lends alongside other private and corporate lenders.
“We only support projects we believe, taking a conservative approach to lending. We structure and manage the loans carefully, drawing on our experience. We require a minimum of 133 per cent of collateral cover for every loan we do, taking a first legal charge over the property. This provides significant downside protection for our investors. We believe that our focus on funding social and affordable housing developments not only delivers the greatest social impact, but it also helps to ensure we are delivering the types of houses in greatest demand,” says Rushe. 

Secured impact lending

In recent years marketplace lending has emerged as a leading source of alternative finance globally. While some platforms offer clients the opportunity to co-fund unsecured small business loans, Initiative Ireland specialises in the finance of property-backed secured loans exclusively. Initiative Ireland provides finance to experienced developers only where it can take a first legal charge over the underlying property. That charge is held in trust on behalf of its clients, in the same way that a bank takes a charge over a mortgaged property for security. The company also focuses on funding energy efficient social and affordable housing, to ensure social impact and sustainability.
“We set high standards for ourselves and our community because we’re passionate about building a better model for real impact investing that offers real returns with real security. That’s why we work with financial advisors and investors nationwide who share our values and goals,” says Rushe.  

Financial inclusion

Initiative Ireland has over 1,000 members made up of institutional, business and personal co-funders. With a secured lending account, Initiative Ireland’s clients can pick and choose which projects to co-fund with 24/7 access online to the company’s digital marketplace.
With opportunities ranging from 3 to 24 months, clients can decide which loans to co-fund and can earn great returns of 6 per cent - 8 per cent APR. With all loans independently assessed and co-funded by institutional investors, it means that clients gain access to secured, institutional grade investments that compare favourably against alternatives such as direct property investing or other higher volatility asset classes, with a lower minimum investment amount compared to most opportunities.

Joining the community

"Our community has co-funded the delivery of over €33 million in social and affordable housing projects to date nationwide. We have projects underway in countries across Ireland and over €200 million in viable projects scheduled for funding over the next two years. At a time when many Irish savers and investors are struggling to secure decent yields, we’re offering them an opportunity to do more with their money, both in terms of earning better returns and delivering a positive social impact. We’re calling on Irish investors and businesses to join us, to help build better futures for all," says Rushe. 
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