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Canada’s social economy about to get a boost, but problems remain

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Canada’s social economy — those social enterprises (nonprofits, charities and co-operatives) that generate income in pursuit of social goals instead of profit — is about to get quite a boost.

Quietly, but thoughtfully and effectively, the federal government has initiated and funded, with serious money, a brand-new program creating the Social Finance Fund, to drastically expand the social economy.

This year, $50 million is flowing, and is set to quickly increase to $75 million per year for the next 10 years.

The fund is intended to address a major impediment to growth of the social economy — the shortage of investment capital.

While the private sector readily raises millions through Bay Street’s financial institutions, social enterprises don’t attract their interest. Instead, to be successful, social enterprises rely heavily on the communities they serve for financial support. And that often isn’t enough.

Hence the fund.

The creation of the fund was one of 12 recommendations in support of social innovation and social finance made to the federal government made in August 2018 by a steering group broadly representative of social economy organizations. Continue reading “Canada’s social economy about to get a boost, but problems remain” »