In the 2015 Federal Budget, the Government of Canada announced
its plans to create a "Social Finance Accelerator"
initiative ("SFA"). The Budget announcement was brief and
did not explain exactly how the SFA would work.
On June 5, 2015, the Government published a Request for
Proposals ("RFP") that contains more details about the
SFA. The Government's intention is to award up to three
contracts to establish an SFA in each of three service regions: (1)
the Western provinces (including the territories); (2) Ontario; and
(3) Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. The deadline to submit a
proposal is 2:00pm (EDT) on July 17, 2015. Information about what
to include in the proposal can be found here.
The RFP documents indicate that each of the entities that are
awarded contracts will be required to select four to six promising
project concepts that need access to social finance. The entities
will identify the projects through posting calls for concepts
online, dissemination information about the SFA through email,
direct engagement with potential participants, and other means.
Upon identifying the project concepts, each of the entities will
be required to provide "innovative business development
services" to advance the investment-readiness of the projects
that are selected. These services may include:
Business planning and advice, brokerage and advisory services,
mentorship, prototyping, and scaling up;
Management of incoming investments (such as grants, loans, and
equity) and service contracts;
Providing networking opportunities; and
Connecting participating organizations and individuals with
The entities will also be required to provide work plans and
regular status reports to Employment and Social Development Canada
("EDSC"). Their work must be completed by November 20,
Once these initial contracts have expired, ESDC will assess
whether the SFA created meaningful value for all of the
participants and the social impacts of the SFA. It is presumed that
the results of this assessment will be used to determine whether
the SFA will continue to operate and whether any adjustments should
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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