Backgrounder: About the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy

Backgrounder

About the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy

Community organizations in Canada are turning to innovative approaches to better serve those most in need and respond to increasing funding pressures. Innovation in the community sector takes various forms, whether it be not-for-profit service delivery organizations developing new interventions that better respond to users’ needs, or forging new partnerships with investors and funders to unlock new sources of capital.

The Government of Canada believes that we need to expand on these new approaches in the community sector and wishes to further promote community-driven innovations. That is why the Government has committed to developing a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy for Canada which will provide better support for community organizations working to achieve positive solutions to persistent social problems, including those facing vulnerable populations.

The development of a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy is a joint mandate letter commitment of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

The Strategy will aim to help government achieve social outcomes in a smarter and more efficient way, while also improving the capacity of those working in the social sector to achieve their objectives.

Scope of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group

The Steering Group will be responsible for co-creating a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy. Its members will work over the next 12 months to define the priorities the Strategy will address and begin developing policy measures to advance social innovation and social finance in Canada.

Through consultation and engagement activities, the Steering Group will seek perspectives of community leaders on the Strategy. The Group will also draw on previous findings from government consultation and engagement activities related to social innovation and social finance.

Steering Group members will be asked to share their perspectives on three key challenges which have been raised during discussions led by stakeholders on social innovation and social finance in recent years:

·        the skills and capacity of community organizations and governments to pursue social innovation and social finance, including their capacity to measure social outcomes and impact;

·        federal laws, regulations and policies that have an impact on the ability of community organizations to participate in social innovation and social finance initiatives; and

·       access to the capital needed to fund, replicate and expand the reach of social innovation and social finance projects.


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