Government of Canada Announces First Round of Calls for Proposals for the Renewed Investment Readiness Program 

News release

Program will continue to support diverse social purpose organizations

August 6, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Everyone deserves an equal and fair chance at success. Social purpose organizations (SPOs) play a fundamental role in helping communities across Canada tackle a range of pressing social issues. However, many need support to expand their capacity and acquire new skills that would allow them to deliver innovative solutions, address emerging challenges and access new sources of investment.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the first round of calls for proposals under the renewed Investment Readiness Program (IRP). The IRP is a two-year, $50 million program that builds on the work already accomplished during its pilot phase. Through the IRP, the Government of Canada supports SPOs in building capacity to become investment-ready so that they can participate in Canada’s growing social finance market.

This investment in the renewed IRP will be divided into two different streams of funding – (1) to expand support and funding opportunities to diverse SPOs in urban, rural and remote communities, including those led by or serving: Indigenous Peoples; Black Canadians and other racialized communities; women; Official Language Minority Communities; people with disabilities; and other under-represented groups within social innovation and social finance, and (2) to invest in projects that help strengthen the larger social innovation and social finance ecosystem.

There will be two rounds of calls for proposals. The first round opens on August 6th and organizations have until September 16th to submit a proposal. To allow for the continuity of the momentum from the pilot IRP, identified organizations that meet the criteria will be invited to submit their proposals during Round 1. However, other organizations that meet the criteria for this process can also choose to submit a proposal during Round 1. They are also able to express an interest in submitting a proposal for Round 2, which will be launched at a later date.

In order to further meet the objectives of the renewed IRP, organizations who are serving and/or being led by women, Indigenous peoples, Black people and other racialized communities, Official Language minority communities, people with disabilities and other equity-deserving groups are encouraged to submit a proposal or express an interest in submitting a proposal for Round 2.


Our government recognizes the important role that social purpose organizations play in addressing complex social and environmental issues and the tremendous impact they can have if able to participate in Canada’s thriving social finance market—a market that works for everyone. The renewal of the Investment Readiness Program is an opportunity to support more diverse SPOs, and to create a more inclusive space with a focus on equity-deserving SPOs led by women, Indigenous peoples, Black and racialized, Official Languages minority communities, and people with disabilities
– Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick facts

  • The IRP is a foundational element of Canada’s first-ever Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy, alongside the $755 million Social Finance Fund.

  • The IRP was launched in 2019 as a 2-year pilot program and supported over 680 social purpose organizations in building their investment readiness through activities such as conducting market analyses, developing products and services and building business plans.

  • Budget 2021 announced the renewal of the IRP with $50 million over two years, starting in 2021–2022, to support diverse SPOs to increase their investment readiness and to access social finance opportunities.

  • Through this round, 14 organizations are being solicited to submit a proposal to deliver a project under the renewed IRP. These organizations will build on their work under the IRP pilot and will aim to reach diverse SPOs to support them as they become investment ready.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Mikaela Harrison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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