Government of Canada brings together leaders to co-create a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy for Canada
June 8, 2017 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
The Government of Canada is moving forward in the development of a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy to unlock new innovative approaches that improve the well-being of Canadians. The Government made the commitment to develop a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy that supports communities in addressing their most difficult problems and helps more people, especially those most vulnerable contribute to and share in the prosperity of their community and society.
In support of this commitment, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced today the members of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group.
The Steering Group, which was selected through a public call for nominations, brings together 15 passionate and diverse leaders, practitioners and experts from multiple fields, including the community, philanthropic, financial and research sectors, on the leading edge of social innovation and social finance. The Group will co-create the Strategy with the Government of Canada over the next 12 months. By drawing on its members’ broad range of expertise, know-how and ideas, and through consultation and engagement activities, the Group will begin developing policy measures to advance social innovation and social finance, and support the social enterprise sector and the social economy in Canada.
The Government of Canada believes that we need to expand on new approaches in the community sector and wishes to further promote community‑driven innovations. The Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy will support communities in unlocking innovative local solutions to our most difficult challenges, and create positive outcomes for Canadians most in need.
“The time has come for the Government of Canada to provide leadership and embrace social innovation as the new norm. This new steering group – composed of leaders in the field of social innovation and social finance – is a critical step towards achieving this goal. Collaboration is a key principle of social innovation. Remaining true to this principle, we intend to work together to co-create a strategy with the community of stakeholders it is intended for. Together, we will co-create a strategy that brings together partners, generates innovative solutions to enduring social problems, creates measurable outcomes for Canadians most in need and more prosperous and inclusive communities for all.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“Our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians can share in the prosperity of our country. Yet, there are many Canadians, such as Indigenous people, women, recent immigrants and youth, that still face barriers that prevent them from being fully included in society. We recognize that traditional approaches alone are no longer sufficient to tackle our most complex social challenges. We look forward to co-co-creating a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy with this new steering group. By innovating and working together we’re going to find new solutions that make a real difference for people in our country.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Social innovation is a new solution to a social or economic problem which produces better results than traditional approaches. Social innovation can improve people’s quality of life through collaborating with new partners, testing creative ideas and measuring their impact. It often involves collaboration across different levels of government, charities, the not-for-profit and private sectors to act on a common social issue to better support communities, and improves the lives of those who need it most.
Social finance is a tool that seeks to mobilize private capital for the public good. It creates opportunities for investors to finance projects that benefit society, and for community organizations to access new sources of funds.
Social innovation, social enterprise and social finance have been successfully used in countries like the U.S. and the United Kingdom. For example, in the United Kingdom, government support for social finance over the past five years has helped generate over one billion dollars (£600 million) in social investment and grow the domestic social enterprise sector, which now employs 2.3 million individuals.
In recent years, the Government of Canada has been exploring social innovation and social finance to increase the effectiveness of its programs. It is already testing new types of partnerships and approaches (e.g. social impact bonds, micro-loans, pay-for-performance, and support for social enterprises).
Since 2014, several Employment and Social Development Canada grants and contributions programs, including the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and Skills Link, have launched open calls for proposals seeking submissions for innovative projects.
- Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group
- Minister Duclos visits the United Kingdom to study social innovation approaches to improve social and economic outcomes for people and communities
- Minister Duclos’ speech at the Global Social Economy Forum (September 2016)
- Public call for nominations for a Steering Group to co-create a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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