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Social Finance Investment Readiness Icon

Social Finance Investment Readiness

Get ready to use repayable capital to enhance your impact

Introduction

What is Social Finance?

Social finance enables organizations to access new money to enhance their impact. Social finance is repayable investment that supports positive social, environmental, and/or cultural impact.

Organizations can complement grants, donations, contracts and other forms of earned income with repayable social finance like loans and equity investments. These investments are used by organizations to carry out activities that advance their mission and to generate savings or income that they can use to repay investors.

 

Example of an organization using social finance:

Old East Village Grocer, owned and operated by registered charity ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities, raised a $100,000 repayable start-up loan from VERGE Capital. Old East Village Grocer trains and employs people with disabilities to operate a community grocer which earns revenue to repay their loan by selling local, affordable food in an underserved neighbourhood.

 

Developed as part of the Investment Readiness Program:

Investment readiness program logo

Get Ready to Access Social Finance Funds

The Government of Canada announced a $755 million Social Finance Fund to be invested over 10 years and expects funds will be matched to create $2 billion in new investment.

Additionally, $50 million was announced to help social-purpose organizations access the Social Finance Fund and more broadly participate in the social finance ecosystem.

In determining whether and how to use social finance, organizations should consider:

  • What the money is needed for, and how the money would be used;
  • How the money will be paid back at a later date;
  • How the financing opportunity aligns with their mission, values, and capacity.

The Innoweave Social Finance Investment Readiness stream helps organizations:

  • Generate ideas on how they can use social finance;
  • Clarify an idea that is mission-aligned, impactful, and feasible;
  • Identify areas of investment-readiness support required to access social finance.

The Innoweave self-assessment tool is designed to help you determine your organization's readiness and whether your initiative or program model is well suited for Social Finance Investment Readiness.

Self-
assessment

This assessment has 5 questions.

Please respond to each of the questions to the best of your ability by choosing the option that most accurately reflects your organizational context.

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What is your primary reason for using social finance?
How would you use money received from social finance investors?
How might you repay your social finance investors?
Is your board supportive of seeking social finance investment?
Do you have the financial skills among your staff and board to manage a social finance investment?

How we help

Info Sessions

Learn about social finance, the Social Finance Fund and Investment Readiness Program.
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Assess your needs as we demystify what investors look for.
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Ideation Sessions

Generate ideas on how your organization can use social finance to enhance your impact.
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Workshop your idea

Workshop your project idea to define the project financials, impact, and investment-readiness support required with 3-4 leaders from your organization working alongside peers and experts.
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Info & Ideation Session

    No upcoming events.

Workshop

    No upcoming events.

 

We are regularly hosting workshops to respond to demand—please apply if you are interested.

You can sign up to receive periodic news of future events, or you may contact the Innoweave team to discuss hosting an event for you and other organizations in your community.

Coaches

Innoweave offers coaching support to organizations that are well positioned to implement a Social Finance approach. You can connect with an Innoweave coach to help you explore and implement your initiative.

Kristi Fairholm-Mader
Ryan Collins-Swartz
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Apply for support

The Government of Canada will be disbursing up to $50 million in grants to help social-purpose organizations access social finance. We can help your organization apply for investment-readiness support grants from our partners. Check back here for more information soon.

Apply Now

Support services

Organizations can connect with a support provider for help on feasibility studies, market analysis, business planning, financial modelling, legal advice, and much more. Find a service provider that meets your needs by viewing our directory of customized 1‑to‑1 services and group training services.

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Investors

Organizations that are investment-ready and seeking repayable investment can connect to an investor. Find an investor that meets your financing needs by viewing our list of social finance intermediaries.

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FAQ

These are our most frequently asked questions.

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Does participating in Innoweave sessions cost money?

No! We are pleased to offer Info sessions, Ideation sessions, and Workshops all at no cost to participants.

Where do Innoweave workshops take place?

We will be responsive to the geography of our participants in selecting where to host workshops. We can deliver workshops in person where there is a cluster of participants, and we can host workshops as a hybrid of in-person and online delivery. During the workshop application you will be asked for your city to help us determine the best delivery approach.

Do I have to be an organization to participate in Innoweave sessions?

Individuals and unregistered groups are welcome to both the Info and Ideation sessions. We encourage everyone to learn about social finance opportunities to enhance their work and impact. Our workshops are designed to help organizations assess their investment-readiness, and hence it is most advantageous for registered organizations to participate in our workshops since social finance will flow to registered entities.