The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) is designed to help social purpose organizations scale up their social enterprises to prepare to accept investments. The eventual goal is for these organizations to be able to participate in the social finance market and generate a return for investors while having a positive impact on their communities.
Eligible organizations could receive from $10,000 to $100,000 in non-repayable capital to develop their enterprise. Charities, non-profits, co-ops and for-profit social enterprises, may all apply if they have an existing business or a business idea that fits the definition of a social enterprise — selling a good or service with some profits going back into their mission to provide a positive social, cultural or environmental outcome.
- A social enterprise is mission driven, aiming to sells goods or services to earn a revenue, while also helping achieve positive social, cultural or environmental objectives, like providing healthy food for vulnerable populations or education for their employees.
- From farmshare co-ops to after-school arts programs, social enterprises serve the needs of communities all across Canada.
- Here are some examples of social enterprises:
- A non-profit that employs people facing barriers to employment to perform eco-friendly home retrofits
- A charity that runs a catering service and provides culinary training for at-risk youth
- A co-op that offers affordable laundry and delivery service while giving work experience to people living in poverty
- A business that helps local farmers sell their crops and products to consumers at a fair price
- A store that offers local artisans credit to purchase food in exchange for their crafts
Social purpose organizations
- A social purpose organization is any organization that seeks to advance a social, cultural or environmental mission. They can be charities, non-profits, social enterprises, co-operatives, or for-profits with a social impact.
- Social purpose organizations across Canada are developing innovative approaches to serving their communities — and many of them could benefit from social finance to grow their impact.
- We all want communities where everyone can thrive and belong. Social finance supports new ways of getting us there.
- Communities know what they need to thrive. From food security, to affordable housing, to a cleaner environment, social finance can unlock innovative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.
- Social finance is investment that has a positive social, cultural or environmental impact that also generates some return for investors.
- Social finance can take the form of loans, where the investor gets their money back plus interest, or equity investments, where the investor owns a part of the organization.
- Other forms of social finance include community bonds, where many people loan small amounts to one project, and social impact bonds, where the investor is paid back by the government if the program outcomes reduce government costs.
- Social finance can range in scale, and can impact a single community or a much larger population.
- Through loans and investments, social finance can help shift power to people who haven’t always had a seat at the table.
Application process is open: January 8, 2020 10:00 AM (EST)
Application Deadline: February 10, 2020 08:00 PM (EST)
This project is part of the Investment Readiness Program.
- The Government of Canada has announced a $755-million Social Finance Fund to support innovative solutions to social challenges.
- Community Foundations of Canada is a partner in the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) which helps allocate funds from the Government of Canada to social purpose organizations preparing to successfully participate in the social finance market.
- This program will support more innovative, sustainable and inclusive approaches to pressing challenges in communities across Canada.
- The #IRProgram provides social enterprises leading edge preparedness for the upcoming Social Finance Fund