Investment Readiness Program model

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Visual representation of the Investment Readiness Program model

Figure of SISF Infographic: description follows
Text description of Figure

This figure is a circle diagram in 3 layers:

The centre circle, or the bullseye, is labelled "Social purpose organizations (SPOs)". SPOs purchase services to build skills and advance impact resilience for social and environmental outcomes.

The second circle surrounding the SPOs is divided in two:

  • Readiness support partners
  • Expert service providers

The top half of the circle is labelled "Readiness support partners" (RSPs) and contains 4 kinds of partners:

  • Community-led funding delivery partners
  • Quebec-based funding delivery partner
  • Women-led funding delivery partner
  • Indigenous-led funding delivery partners

The RSPs have arrows pointing to the SPOs, representing the flow of money that will be granted from the RSPs to the SPOs.

The SPO circle has arrows pointing toward the bottom half of the second circle, which is labelled "Expert service providers" (ESPs). The arrows represent the flow of money. SPOs will use the money granted from RSPs to purchase services from ESPs. There are 5 broad categories of ESPs labelled on the diagram:

  • Investor ready
  • Impact sustainability
  • Strategic impact focus
  • Financial resilience
  • Early-stage innovation

The third, outer circle is labelled "Ecosystem mobilization initiatives" (EMIs). This layer envelops the other two layers, and represents the broader Social Innovation and Social Finance ecosystem that enables the RSPs and ESPs to do their jobs. There are 5 broad areas that the EMIs will work within labelled on the outer circle:

  • Social finance intermediaries
  • Knowledge mobilization
  • For-profit mission-driven engagement
  • Indigenous systems mobilization
  • Social research and development

What is social innovation and social finance

The complex social, economic, and environmental challenges facing Canada (homelessness, climate change, and youth unemployment, amongst others) demand creativity and transformative solutions. Social innovation refers to new ideas, which, when adopted, improve a community’s wellbeing. Social finance is the practice of making investments intended to create social or environmental impact in addition to financial returns.

To take advantage of resources and opportunities made available by Social innovation and social finance (SI/SF), social purpose organizations (SPOs) need to build their existing skill sets and develop new skills. Using experts to guide them, SPOs may enhance their capacities in impact measurement, early stage innovation, business expertise, legal and organizational structure, governance, and fiscal skills to be ready to access social finance investments.

What are readiness support partners

Readiness support partners (RSPs) have reach across Canada, in every region, rural/remote and urban settings, and have specialized reach, such as Quebec’s social economy, Indigenous communities, and SPOs led by (or which support) women and girls.

RSPs will establish open and transparent processes to make available up to $30 million to SPOs who can apply for funds to purchase the expert services they need to build skills and capacity, and in turn increase their participation in social finance and Canada’s SI/SF ecosystem.

What are expert service providers

Expert services providers (ESPs) are organizations that provide resources, training, mentoring, and other learning opportunities to SPOs to move towards investment readiness. SPOs will be able to seek funding and support from RSPs in order to work with an ESP to determine their specific needs and purchase the expert services that best address them. Equally, they might choose to work with an ESP to help identify their needs before seeking additional services and supports.

SPOs are not obligated to approach IRP funded ESPs; rather, they have the choice to seek support from ESP(s) that meet their service needs.

What are ecosystem mobilization initiatives

Despite the many kinds of resources available to SPOs in Canada, many gaps still exist in the social finance ecosystem. Part of preparing SPOs to be investment-ready involves making available the tools and resources to scale up their operations, increasing their awareness of and access to innovative tools and processes, enhancing their capacity to measure progress meaningfully, and helping them build their long-term sustainability. Over its 2-year timeframe, the Investment Readiness Program will fund projects that will build on existing initiatives to advance research, develop and test possible solutions and/or move solutions from theory to practice, impact measurement, knowledge mobilization, and supporting social finance intermediaries.

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