A little over two years ago, Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada (now Employment and Social Development Canada
(ESDC)) launched the Government of Canada's inaugural Call for
Concepts for Social Finance (the "Call") at the Social
Finance Forum in Toronto, giving Canadian organizations and
individuals the opportunity to present their innovative ideas on
how the Government could best address the country's social
challenges. In its paper entitled
Harnessing The Power Of Social Finance, ESDC, in addition to
profiling fifteen promising concepts that emerged from the Call,
summarized several key steps that the Government has committed to
taking with a view to bolstering social finance in Canada; one such
step was to work with partners in an effort to create opportunities
to sharpen some of the concepts presented at the Call and develop
investment-ready pilot projects.
Keeping to its promise, the Budget announced that ESDC will
introduce a new social finance accelerator initiative. The
Budget reiterated the Government's recognition of the important
role that social entrepreneurs play in addressing complex societal
issues and the reality that social finance is an innovative
approach that delivers both social value and economic return by
mobilizing multiple sources of capital.
The Budget states that the new social finance accelerator
initiative will be designed to help promising social finance
proposals become investment ready, attract private investment and
turn social entrepreneurs' proposals into action. The
initiative will consist of workshops, advisory services,
mentorship, networking opportunities and investor introductions
designed to help fast-track promising social finance ventures to a
greater stage of investment readiness.
The Budget does not indicate the level of funding that will be
provided for this new initiative. In order to take advantage
of this initiative, social entrepreneurs and organizations
interested in pursuing activities in this space should watch for
information and further announcements from ESDC.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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