Posts Tagged ‘Social Enterprises’

Social finance: Challenges for its legal regulation

June 28th, 2018 by Ted Hyland

This article was first published on rabble.ca.

Last month, the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology issued a report entitled The Federal Role in a Social Finance Fund. The Committee’s recommendations included the federal government creating and contributing to a national social finance fund. This recommendation, among others from the Committee, aligns with, for example, the social enterprise strategy of the Ontario government.

For all of the optimism percolating through the Senate report and Ontario’s strategy there is the challenge of how to reconcile two dynamics that historically have been opposed: the private interest for profit and the common interest for public benefit. Social finance is about harnessing capital and the forces of the market to solve social problems. It’s about commercializing social, environmental and cultural problems that traditionally were addressed by government as part of an overall goal of wealth redistribution and creation and protection of public goods. Social finance represents a shift: addressing these problems is an opportunity for wealth creation, as well as doing good. Read the rest of this entry

Impact investing: What are charities able to do?

April 3rd, 2018 by Ted Hyland

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Are charities legally permitted to make impact investments with their funds? Yes, but, getting to “yes” is not straightforward, and depends on the circumstances.

Impact investing is the use (mainly, but not exclusively) of money to simultaneously realize a financial return and a public or social good. A 2016 survey published by the Responsible Investment Association in Canada reports that in 2015 more than $9.2 billion in assets under management were identified by the survey respondents as being impact investments. A 2017 report by the Global Impact Investing Network  reveals US$114 billion in impact investments worldwide in 2016. These investments are in sectors ranging from housing and energy to microfinance, education, and arts and culture. The investment instruments include debt (e.g., loans, bonds), equity (both private and public shareholdings or units in partnerships), and real assets (in other words, tangible assets such as real estate or commodities, rather than financial capital).

Increasingly, charities are looking at using their funds and other resources to contribute to positive social, economic, cultural and environmental change (“social impact”), as well as to obtain a financial return. But does the law permit them to do so? Read the rest of this entry

Should social enterprises have a special corporate structure?

May 31st, 2014 by Iler Campbell

The United States, the United Kingdom, British Columbia and Nova Scotia each have regulation which allows for “hybrid enterprises,” entities with both profit- making and non-profit goals. In a June 2010 report on the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA), the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology asked if the CBCA should be amended to include these entities too.

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The evolving world of social finance in Ontario

December 7th, 2012 by Brian Iler and Laura Bowman

Social enterprises can find it difficult to raise capital from community‑minded investors.  Even in the non “social enterprise” sector, most capital for small and startup enterprises is still raised from friends and family rather than banks, wealthy investors or other more traditional sources.

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