Building an economy that works for the middle class
New measures to boost participation in Canada's Social Finance Market
June 12, 2019 Montreal, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Many Canadians face persistent and complex social and environmental challenges that make it difficult for them to succeed and reach their full potential. These issues hamper economic growth and productivity, increase the need for expensive public services, and come at a profound human cost. While traditional solutions have proven ineffective at getting to the root of these issues, the Government of Canada is working in partnership to launch a Social Innovation and Social Finance (SI/SF) Strategy to encourage new and innovative approaches to address these challenges.
Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the first key collaborators who will help implement the Investment Readiness Program (IRP). The Government will work with these partners to invest $50 million over two years to help social purpose organizations (SPO) become investment ready and access the new Social Finance Fund, set to launch in 2020.
The IRP will be delivered through three types of delivery partner organizations who will contribute to national efforts to set the stage for progress on social innovation and social finance in Canada:
- Readiness Support Partners who will make available funding and supports to diverse SPOs from across Canada;
- Expert Service Providers who can offer specialized knowledge to SPOs to support their movement along the readiness continuum; and
- Ecosystem Mobilization Initiatives to address key systems gaps (e.g., strengthening impact measurement, supporting knowledge mobilization, growth of social finance intermediaries, tools for social research and development and Indigenous systems mobilization).
“Our government is committed to invest in social purpose organizations through Canada’s very first Social Finance Fund. By creating more opportunities and implementing innovative solutions to some of the most complex and persistent challenges faced by our communities, these organizations will further strengthen our society and the well-being of all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“We know that many social purpose organizations do not have access to the capital they need to help grow the great things that they are doing. The Investment Readiness Program will help them to think about how they can become ready for new investment opportunities. The program will also offer supports to social purpose organizations that do not see themselves as ready for social financing.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
As announced in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Government is working toward creating a Social Finance Fund. As a first step, the IRP has been created to ensure that when the Fund is set up, social purpose organizations are prepared to successfully access it.
The IRP will raise awareness around the value and need for social innovation and help unlock creative solutions and opportunities on the local level in Canadian communities. The IRP sets organizations up to succeed, by enabling communities across Canada to attract increased investment and support innovation to solve some of our most complex challenges, including climate change, homelessness, technological disruptions and more.
In March 2019, the Government of Canada launched a public online engagement process to inform the implementation of the Investment Readiness Program. This consultation is open until June 30, 2019.
The Government of Canada also launched today a call for applications for a 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 Social Innovation Advisory Council will be made up of 12 to 15 members external to government who will provide strategic advice and subject matter expertise to support the implementation of the SI/SF Strategy and growth of social purpose organizations.
The call for applications for the Social Innovation Advisory Council is open from June 12 to September 2, 2019.
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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
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