June 20, 2019
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Building an economy that works for the middle class

Building an economy that works for the middle class

Canada NewsWire

New measures to boost participation in Canada's Social Finance Market

MONTREAL, June 12, 2019 /CNW/ - 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:

  1. Readiness Support Partners who will make available funding and supports to diverse SPOs from across Canada;
  2. Expert Service Providers who can offer specialized knowledge to SPOs to support their movement along the readiness continuum; and
  3. 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).

Quotes

"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

Quick Facts

  • 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.

Backgrounder

Investment Readiness Program Funding Recipients:

Readiness Support Partners:

  • National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
  • Community Foundations of Canada
  • Chantier de l'économie sociale
  • Canadian Women's Foundation

Ecosystem Mobilization Initiatives:

  • Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet)
  • McConnell Social Research and Development
  • Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci)
  • Centre for Social Innovation (CSI)
  • New Market Funds
  • The Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR)
  • Imagine Canada
  • Startup Canada
  • Sauder Social Innovation Academy (UBC)

Expert Service Providers:

  • LIFT Philanthropy Partners
  • McConnell Innoweave
  • Social Enterprise Ecosystem Project (S4ES)
  • Social Venture Exchange

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 Advisory Council will bring together leaders, practitioners and experts from across social purpose sectors, including the community, philanthropic, financial and research sectors. It will be composed of up to 15 members who are external to government and have extensive knowledge of social innovation and social finance, and are representative of Canada's diversity. Members will be appointed for a two-year term, with the possibility for renewal. Government officials may also occupy additional seats on the Advisory Council to provide policy, program, legislative and regulatory expertise.

The establishment of the Social Innovation Advisory Council is a further step by the Government of Canada to respond to the recommendations of the SI/SF Co-Creation Steering Group.

Social Innovation and Social Finance Co-Creation Steering Group

In June 2017, the Government of Canada created a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group, made up of experts from the charitable and non-profit sector, to provide recommendations on the development of a social innovation and social finance strategy.

The Steering Group delivered its final report, Inclusive innovation: New Ideas and New Partnerships for Stronger Communities, in August 2018.

One of the report's key recommendations was to create a Social Finance Fund to help close the capital financing gap faced by organizations that deliver positive social outcomes, and to help accelerate the growth of the existing social finance market in Canada.

Fall Economic Statement

The 2018 Fall Economic Statement announced that the Government of Canada intended to invest $755 million over the next 10 years to establish a Social Finance Fund and an additional $50 million over two years to help social purpose organizations to improve their ability to successfully participate in the social finance market.

The Social Finance Fund

To encourage innovative approaches to persistent and complex social challenges, the Government of Canada is creating a Social Finance Fund. This will give charitable, non-profit and social purpose organizations access to new financing to implement their innovative ideas, and will connect them with non-government investors seeking to support projects that will drive positive social change. Social purpose organizations who have been successful in becoming investment ready by way of the Investment Readiness program will also be able to access the Social Finance Fund.

Key Definitions/Terms

Social Innovation: A response to a social or environmental problem (including everything from a program or a service to different ways of structuring organizations) that, once adopted, results in better outcomes than existing approaches. Social innovations have a transformative impact, delivering improvements across organizations, communities, regions, or systems.

Social Finance: Investments intended to create a measurable social or environmental impact as well as to generate financial returns.

Social Enterprise: A business, for-profit or not-for-profit, that pursues a social, cultural or environmental mission through the sale of goods and services with the majority of net profits being directed back to its mission, and with limited distribution to shareholders and owners.

Social Purpose Organizations: The entire spectrum of organizations with a mission to advance social or environmental aims. Social purpose organizations straddle the charitable and non-profit sector (including registered charities, incorporated non-profit organizations and non-profit co-operatives), the private sector (including market sector co-operatives and private businesses advancing a social or environmental mission) and hybrid entities such as Community Contribution Companies and Community Interest Companies, found in British Columbia and Nova Scotia respectively.

Associated Links

Share your thoughts on the Investment and Readiness Stream of the Social Finance Fund 

Discussion Guide for the Investment Readiness Stream for the Social Finance Fund 

Apply for Social Innovation Advisory Council

 



SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada



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