Social Finance Fund 


The Social Finance Fund aims to address systemic biases and inequities historically present in financial systems and investment decisions.


The key objectives of the Social Finance Fund are to:

  • Support the development of existing and emerging social finance intermediaries to create a sustainable social finance ecosystem.
  • Broaden the reach of social finance to underserved populations, sectors and regions, including rural and remote communities and the North.
  • Enable the sustainable growth of diverse social purpose organizations to increase their social and environmental impact.
  • Help social purpose organizations innovate and scale effective solutions to complex and enduring socio-economic and environmental challenges.
  • Enhance social equity practices in the social finance ecosystem.
  • Advance Canada’s progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and its Indigenous Reconciliation Commitments.

To meet these objectives, the fund managers will:

  • Support existing and emerging social finance intermediaries with affordable and flexible financing, as well as technical and management expertise.
  • Work with social finance intermediaries to ensure diverse social purpose organizations can access affordable and flexible financing, as well as technical and management expertise.
  • Work with social finance intermediaries and social purpose organizations to implement robust impact measurement and management approaches to ensure investments contribute to measurable social and environmental impacts.
  • Leverage new private investment to co-invest in social finance intermediaries and/or to invest in the proposed fund toward the target of leveraging a minimum of $2 of private investment for each $1 of Social Finance Fund contribution.
  • Incorporate a social equity lens in the design and implementation of investment strategies to remove access to capital barriers faced by equity-deserving groups.
  • Contribute to the Social Finance Fund’s goal of a minimum of 35% of capital deployed into initiatives promoting greater social equity, including 15% into initiatives promoting greater gender equality.


The following fund managers were selected following an open and competitive call for expressions of interest:

Boann Social Impact L.P. with its project Investing in Canada’s Social Finance Market. The fund manager is is a new joint venture with the investment fund manager Encasa, and the not-for-profit trust Table of Impact Investment Practitioners, a longstanding community of practice now encompassing over 80 Canadian social finance intermediaries and partners.

Fonds de finance social – CAP Finance with its project Social Finance Fund – CAP Finance. The fund manager is a network of financial institutions and organizations that are working in Quebec and focused on the social economy and solidarity-based finance. Led by the Réseau d’investissement social du Québec and the Fiducie du Chantier de l’économie sociale, nine key investors are involved in the project. Fonds de finance social – CAP Finance will invest specifically in Quebec

Realize Capital Partners Inc. with its project Investing to Grow Social Finance and Accelerate Social Equity in Canada. The fund manager is a collaboration between the impact investment management and advisory firm Rally Assets, and the early-stage venture capital fund manager Relay Ventures..


Fund managers are required to incorporate a social equity lens to ensure diversity and inclusion considerations are incorporated into decision-making processes and outcomes, to benefit equity-deserving groups that face barriers to economic inclusion and lack access to investment capital.

Fund managers will promote a shift in behaviour and practice, and a redistribution of power in the Canadian social finance ecosystem. By incorporating social equity considerations into their investment priorities, fund managers can lead the way by removing barriers and addressing systemic biases that currently exist in the finance ecosystem.

Fund managers’ strategies integrate key considerations for their governance, portfolio construction, ecosystem building activities and impact measurement and management. Key examples include:

  • Implementing the 50 – 30 Challenge and aspiring toward gender parity (50% women and/or gender diverse people) and increased representation of equity-deserving groups (30%) in their governance and senior leadership.
  • Investing in emerging social finance intermediaries led by equity-deserving groups.
  • Collecting disaggregated data to meaningfully assess the gaps and needs of equity-deserving groups in the social finance ecosystem.
  • Building on the Canadian government’s ratification of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, fund managers will engage in relationship-building with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, organizations, leaders and partners to complement and reinforce the existing and emerging Indigenous social finance ecosystem.

As part of its focus on investing in a feminist future, through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada committed to allocate a minimum of $100 million from the Social Finance Fund to investments in gender equality. In recognition of the importance of intersectionality, the Social Finance Fund has renewed and expanded its commitment to allocate a minimum of 35% of investments into initiatives promoting greater social equity, including a minimum of 15% into initiatives promoting greater gender equality.

To ensure these social equity investment targets are met and have the desired impact, Employment and Social Development Canada will work with the fund managers and the wider social finance ecosystem to establish a system that will define meaningful impact thresholds.


Impact measurement and management will ensure that social finance investments generate social and/or environmental impacts alongside financial returns. The Social Finance Fund aims to support and strengthen impact measurement and management practices within the social finance ecosystem.

Fund managers will work with social finance intermediaries and social purpose organizations to define the impact goals of their investments, to use evidence and impact data in investment decisions and to manage the impact performance of investments.

A framework will be established to develop a core data standard to align data collection and sharing between social purpose organizations and social finance investors, while establishing a flexible reporting framework and limiting reporting burdens. The framework will integrate key social equity considerations, including the collection of disaggregated data, to meaningfully assess the needs of equity-deserving groups and capture progress made in removing barriers to access to capital. To develop the core data standard, key stakeholders, experts and software providers will be engaged to establish the framework.

Accessing Funding

Social Finance Fund investments are made to generate social and/or environmental impacts alongside financial returns. Boann Social Impact, CAP Finance, and Realize Capital Partners are the fund managers who will manage the Social Finance Fund. The fund managers will adopt an impact screen for their investment selection process to ensure all investments meet minimum criteria for social finance investments and strive toward high impact.

Social finance intermediaries interested in accessing funds will deal directly with the selected fund managers. In most cases, social purpose organizations will apply for funding directly through a social finance intermediaries.

Figure: The Social Finance Fund model

Each fund manager will establish robust operational infrastructure and decision-making mechanisms to ensure social equity considerations are at the core of the investment strategies. Their respective funding models will provide a variety of opportunities to reach and support diverse social finance intermediaries and social purpose organizations, including those led by and/or serving equity-deserving groups.

Fund managers will also receive non-repayable contributions to undertake ecosystem-building activities that support the development of the social finance ecosystem in Canada and contribute to the resiliency of the ecosystem infrastructure. This includes blended finance initiatives, supporting emerging social finance intermediaries and filling in ecosystem gaps, particularly for equity-deserving groups.

To support cohesion across the social finance ecosystem, the fund managers are developing a Social Finance Fund portal to connect social purpose organizations, social finance investors, and investors. The portal will be rolled out over the course of 2023-2024 and serve to bring greater visibility and quality to information about social finance opportunities in Canada.

ESDC will not make direct investments in social purpose organizations or social finance intermediaries through the Social Finance Fund.


The Social Finance Fund is a repayable program. Final repayment of funds to the Government of Canada are expected within 16 years following the program launch. The Social Finance Fund is a $755M program to be deployed over the next 10 years. Fund managers are eligible to receive both conditionally repayable contributions and non-repayable contributions.

  • Conditionally repayable contributions: Used for investment activities, to invest in social finance intermediaries and in rare cases, directly into social purpose organizations.
  • Non-repayable contributions: Up to 10% of total funding request to cover expenses such as administrative costs, blended-finance and ecosystem-building activities.

In recognition of economic reconciliation as an important step toward Indigenous reconciliation, $50 million of the $755 million Social Finance Fund was allocated to the Indigenous Growth Fund, which is an Indigenous-led and self-determined fund managed and distributed by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association. The remaining $705 million of the Social Finance Fund will be deployed by the fund managers into the social finance ecosystem.

The Social Finance Fund has access to $400 million from the available $705 million, over a period of 5 fiscal years (2023 to 2027). ESDC must return to the Treasury Board of Canada for approval to access the remaining funding allocated to the program ($305M).

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 Total


Accelerated deployment of $220 million to support post-COVID-19 recovery


Accelerated deployment of $220 million to support post-COVID-19 recovery

$60,000,000 $60,000,000 $60,000,000 $400,000,000

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