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October 23, 2023
Social purpose organizations, such as social enterprises, not-for-profits, charities and co-operatives, are at the forefront of tackling persistent social challenges such as housing, poverty, and employment; along with the climate crisis. They are helping to build the inclusive economy that Canadians want.
Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jenna Sudds, announced that with the support of five readiness support partners and 22 ecosystem builders, the Government of Canada has invested in 460 projects across the country through the renewed Investment Readiness Program (IRP). Through these projects, social purpose organizations are building their skills and their capacity to access social finance investment through activities such as conducting market analyses, developing new products and services, building business plans and acquiring technical expertise. Combined with the pilot IRP, a total of $100 million was invested in 1,140 social purpose organizations.
Minister Sudds congratulated the social purpose organizations and ecosystem builders who received funding under the IRP and thanked the Government of Canada’s readiness support partners for their work in administering the IRP over the past two years.
The IRP is one of three foundational elements to the Government of Canada’s Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy, along with the Social Finance Fund and the Social Innovation Advisory Council. The Government of Canada has invested $50 million over two years through the IRP renewal to help advance social innovation and social finance in Canada, and all of the funding has now been committed to projects.
These investments continue to strengthen the social innovation and social finance ecosystem in Canada by fostering the growth and success of social purpose organizations, which in turn helps build more resilient and inclusive communities. Both the local and national impact of the IRP demonstrate the importance of a thriving social finance ecosystem in Canada.
“Social purpose organization tackle some of Canada’s most persistent social challenges such as poverty, climate change and social inequality. In order to see impact, we need to invest in partners that are driving change and align with our vision to build a more inclusive economy for all Canadians. The Investment Readiness Program has played an integral part in strengthening the social finance ecosystem in Canada.”
– Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“We’re thrilled by the continued impact of the Investment Readiness Program. Diverse social entrepreneurs and organizations all over Canada deserve this vote of confidence. When we break down gender, racial, and other intersecting biases and invest in them the way we should, returns are remarkable. Their innovations couldn’t come at a more critical time for the economy and the well-being of our communities.”
– Paulette Senior, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Women’s Foundation
“The IRP was an immense success in Quebec, and the Chantier de l’économie sociale is proud to have been able to help dozens of organisations obtain funds to help bring their projects to fruition and put in place collective solutions to common problems. The IRP strengthened Quebec’s ecosystem, and we’re truly hoping to see continued investments in this program in the future: it’s money well spent, that makes a difference.”
– Maude Brossard-Sabourin, Deputy Executive Director, Chantier de l’économie sociale
“To create a future that is bright, just and sustainable, changes must be driven by community. The future of social finance requires bold new thinking, and for bold new thinking to be effective, it needs to be rooted in local experiences and perspectives. The Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program shows how innovative ideas and solutions that are brought forward by community can create long-term changes needed to meet the challenges of the future.”
– Andrea Dicks, President, Community Foundations of Canada
“The Foundation for Black Communities welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with the federal government to ready Black-led and Black-focused social organizations for investment with the IRP. Thanks to this funding, 31 recipients will continue to contribute to the vitality of Black communities throughout Canada and enrich the country as a whole.
– Gladys Ahovi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Black Communities
“We are proud to announce the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) has committed over $3.5 million in Investment Readiness Program funding to 47 urban Indigenous social purpose organizations (SPOs) nationwide. This funding will support the development and growth of urban Indigenous social enterprises, addressing pressing community needs such as employment, housing, cultural revitalization, and economic reconciliation. The NAFC’s investment reflects our commitment to empowering urban Indigenous SPOs and fostering collective wealth within the urban Indigenous ecosystem.”
– Jocelyn Formsma, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Friendship Centres
“We are so grateful to the Government of Canada for the generous contribution from the Investment Readiness Program. The impact of our Furniture Bank program is seen across the Ottawa as we fully furnish up to 150 homes each month. But are ready to increase these meaningful results, and the IRP funding has enabled Matthew House Ottawa to set a foundation for continued to expansion to meet the growing need for our services.”
– Allan Reesor-McDowell, Executive Director, Matthew House Ottawa
“With support from the Investment Readiness Program, Common Approach has created impact measurement solutions that have received international recognition, including the world’s leading impact data standard. The Program support continues to transform our work as we have begun to test these solutions across networks of social purpose organizations in the Pathfinder Pilot. The understanding gained from this Pilot will help us further develop solutions for flexible, community-driven impact measurement practices. We believe this will result in impact measurement that is more effective and more relevant to social purpose organizations, those they serve, and those who fund them.”
— Garth Yule, Head of Operations, Common Approach to Impact Measurement
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jenna Sudds
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada