The social lender Triodos has already seen almost the same level of growth in its loan book in the first four months of 2011 as it did in the whole of last year.
The lender announced that its loans increased by £58m in the first third of this year, from £312m to £370m, compared with a £64m growth recorded in 2010.
Bevis Watts, head of business banking at Triodos, said 25 per cent of the recent growth had come from charities and social enterprises, and 50 per cent more from social housing.
He said a particular area of growth was community land trusts, which allow people to build affordable housing for others from the same location.
"Last year, there were only 13 community land trusts in the whole of England," he said. "We've spoken to 15 new ones, which have registered or are in the process of registering."