Backgrounder: Investment Readiness Program Funding Recipients


Readiness Support Partners:

  • Community Foundations of Canada
  • Chantier de l’économie sociale
  • Canadian Women’s Foundation
  • National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
  • National Association of Friendship Centres

Expert Service Providers:

  • LIFT Philanthropy Partners
  • McConnell Innoweave
  • Social Enterprise Ecosystem Project (S4ES)
  • Social Venture Connexion (SVX)
  • Raven Indigenous Capital Partners

Ecosystem Mobilization Initiatives:

  • Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet)
  • McConnell Foundation
  • Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci)
  • Centre for Social Innovation (CSI)
  • New Market Funds
  • The Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR)
  • Imagine Canada
  • Startup Canada
  • Sauder Social Innovation Academy (UBC)
  • Congress of Aboriginal Peoples

Social Innovation Advisory Council
The Advisory Council will provide strategic advice and subject matter expertise to the Government of Canada to support the implementation of the SI/SF Strategy and growth of social purpose organizations. It will provide an important perspective from within the stakeholder community and report regularly on progress and emerging issues in relation to the SI/SF Strategy.

The Advisory Council will bring together leaders, practitioners and experts from across social purpose sectors, including the community, philanthropic, financial and research sectors. It will be composed of up to 15 members who are external to government and have extensive knowledge of social innovation and social finance, and are representative of Canada’s diversity. Members will be appointed for a two-year term, with the possibility for renewal. Government officials may also occupy additional seats on the Advisory Council to provide policy, program, legislative and regulatory expertise.

The establishment of the Social Innovation Advisory Council is a further step by the Government of Canada to respond to the recommendations of the SI/SF Co-Creation Steering Group.

Social Innovation and Social Finance Co-Creation Steering Group
In June 2017, the Government of Canada created a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group, made up of experts from the charitable and non-profit sector, to provide recommendations on the development of a social innovation and social finance strategy.

The Steering Group delivered its final report, Inclusive innovation: New Ideas and New Partnerships for Stronger Communities, in August 2018.

One of the report’s key recommendations was to create a Social Finance Fund to help close the capital financing gap faced by organizations that deliver positive social outcomes, and to help accelerate the growth of the existing social finance market in Canada.

Fall Economic Statement
The 2018 Fall Economic Statement announced that the Government of Canada intended to invest $755 million over the next 10 years to establish a Social Finance Fund and an additional $50 million over two years to help social purpose organizations to improve their ability to successfully participate in the social finance market.

The Social Finance Fund
To encourage innovative approaches to persistent and complex social challenges, the Government of Canada is creating a Social Finance Fund. This will give charitable, non-profit and social purpose organizations access to new financing to implement their innovative ideas, and will connect them with non-government investors seeking to support projects that will drive positive social change. Social purpose organizations who have been successful in becoming investment ready by way of the Investment Readiness program will also be able to access the Social Finance Fund.

Key Definitions/Terms
Social Innovation:
A response to a social or environmental problem (including everything from a program or a service to different ways of structuring organizations) that, once adopted, results in better outcomes than existing approaches. Social innovations have a transformative impact, delivering improvements across organizations, communities, regions, or systems.

Social Finance:
Investments intended to create a measurable social or environmental impact as well as to generate financial returns.

Social Enterprise:
A business, for-profit or not-for-profit, that pursues a social, cultural or environmental mission through the sale of goods and services with the majority of net profits being directed back to its mission, and with limited distribution to shareholders and owners.

Social Purpose Organizations:
The entire spectrum of organizations with a mission to advance social or environmental aims. Social purpose organizations straddle the charitable and non-profit sector (including registered charities, incorporated non-profit organizations and non-profit co-operatives), the private sector (including market sector co-operatives and private businesses advancing a social or environmental mission) and hybrid entities such as Community Contribution Companies and Community Interest Companies, found in British Columbia and Nova Scotia respectively.

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