Social Finance Investment Readiness Icon

Social Finance

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.

Example of an organization using social finance:

Jasper Place Wellness Centre (JPWC) offers essential community services, operates a housing complex for individuals that have experienced homelessness, and runs a medical clinic where community members previously lacking access to a family doctor can access care. JPWC launched a junk removal social enterprise to hire underemployed community members and was successfully contracted by the City of Edmonton to recycle and keep all mattresses from the city landfill. JPWC partnered with and obtained a loan from Social Enterprise Fund (SEF) to purchase equipment to process reclaimed materials from old mattresses. JPWC uses the revenues earned from selling reclaimed steel, compacted foam, and wood chips to pay over $1 million in wages to underemployed community members as well as repay the loan from SEF.

Get Ready to Use Social Finance

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.

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 stream helps organizations:

  • Generate ideas on how they can use social finance;
  • Clarify an idea that is mission-aligned, impactful, and feasible;
  • Learn about the steps required to use social finance in their work, and identify areas of investment-readiness support they would need in order to pursue social finance investment.

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.

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

Information

Learn about social finance opportunities and assess your needs as we demystify what investors look for.
Watch recording
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Ideation

Generate ideas on how your organization can use social finance to enhance your impact.
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Info & Ideation Session

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Workshop

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Coaches

Innoweave connects 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.

Ken Kolb
Michael Cavanagh
Laurie Cook
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Apply for support

Subscribe here to register your interest and be informed of future support.

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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 our sessions at no cost to participants.

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

Individuals and unregistered groups are welcome to our sessions. We encourage everyone to learn about social finance opportunities to enhance their work and impact. Note that social finance investors typically invest in registered organizations.

Will the Investment Readiness Program re-open?

It is not known whether the Investment Readiness Program will be renewed following the $50 million pilot program that operated between September, 2019 to June, 2021. You may subscribe to our newsletter to be updated in future.