Government of Canada seeks social finance wholesalers to spur growth of social finance market

News release

New Social Finance Fund could attract up to $1.5 billion in private sector capital

August 12, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Everyone deserves an equal and fair chance at success. Social purpose organizations 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. In the years to come, a strong social purpose sector will be critical in rebuilding the economy in addition to addressing other priorities in our communities, like unemployment, poverty reduction, reconciliation, gender equality and anti-racism.

Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, launched a competitive call for expressions of interest, seeking one to five social finance wholesalers to implement the Social Finance Fund. The Social Finance Fund is a $755-million repayable program that will invest in social finance intermediaries to improve social purpose organizations’ access to flexible and affordable financing opportunities. The goal of the program is to accelerate the growth of Canada’s social finance market by attracting new private sector investments and ultimately to increase the capacity of social purpose organizations to generate social and environmental impacts.

Social finance wholesalers will be responsible for investing funds into social finance intermediaries such as community loan funds and social venture capital funds. These social finance intermediaries will in turn invest in social purpose organizations across a variety of different regions and sectors. This could take the form of loans to enable charities and social enterprises to expand their activities or equity investments to support socially driven start-ups. Through access to social financing, social purpose organizations will be able to grow their operations and enhance their social and environmental impacts.

Employment and Social Development Canada is seeking one to five social finance wholesalers, in the form of organizations or financial institutions with a wide range of financial and other expertise, including:

  • a strong knowledge of social finance and Canada’s social finance market;
  • expertise in social impact reporting;
  • a proven ability to promote inclusive growth and diversity;
  • experience within the social purpose sector; and
  • the capacity to attract capital from private investors.

Interested Social finance wholesalers should consult the funding page and are invited to submit their expression of interest until 12:00 pm, EST on September 29, 2021.

Quotes

“Our government applauds the important role that social purpose organizations have played in supporting Canadians both before and during the pandemic. Access to flexible financial options during this time of recovery is crucial, and that’s why we are supporting them as they build a financially sustainable future and continue their valuable work in our communities."

– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen

Quick facts

  •  The Social Finance Fund aims to support the growth of a self-sustaining social finance market in Canada and to advance progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • The Government has contributed $50 million from the Social Finance Fund to the Indigenous Growth Fund through the Business Development Bank of Canada. The Indigenous Growth Fund is managed by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association. 

  • It is estimated that the Social Finance Fund could attract up to $1.5 billion in private sector capital into the Canadian social finance market, create thousands of new jobs and drive social change.

Associated links

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Hafsah Asadullah
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
Hafsah.asadullah@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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