Non-repayable capital available for social purpose organizations to grow positive impact through social enterprise
The Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta, is offering eligible organizations that are working to do good in Southern Alberta the opportunity to access a minimum of $10,000 in non-repayable capital through the Investment Readiness Program. This program is part of a national initiative led by Community Foundations of Canada and funded by the Government of Canada that will provide $18.5 million across the country to seed and grow social enterprise.
The Investment Readiness Program is open to a diverse range of organizations and businesses, including charities, non-profits, co-ops, and for-profit social enterprises. The program will provide a minimum of $10,000 in non-repayable capital for eligible organizations to design, plan, measure, and scale social enterprises to get ready to accept investment and participate in Canada’s growing social finance market.
”We are delighted to be able to bring this exciting program to Southern Alberta because we know that there are already many great social enterprises in our community,” says Community Foundation Executive Director Charleen Davidson. “We are confident that the IRP will foster an expansion of social innovation that will support and enhance our overall quality of life.”
“Business isn’t just about the bottom line. It can be a source for good and a catalyst for social and environmental change in communities across Canada. We are honoured to support social enterprises across Canada in building a better world,” says Andrew Chunilall, CEO of Community Foundations of Canada, a national partner in the Investment Readiness Program.
What are social finance and social enterprise?
Social finance is investment that creates a positive social, cultural, or environmental impact while also generating a financial return for investors. Through loans and investments of this type, social finance can help to give underrepresented voices a platform. Relatedly, a social enterprise is an organization that is mission-driven, aiming to sell goods or provide services to earn revenue while also helping to achieve positive social, cultural, or environmental objectives.
The Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta (CFLSA) and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta (CFSEA) will lead a consortium of local partners to facilitate this new program. This consortium is comprised of Community Futures Lethbridge Region and Entre-Corp; Economic Development Lethbridge; Lethbridge College Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Lethbridge Indigenous Sharing Network; Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce; Medicine Hat College Business Development Office; Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta and Alberta Innovates; Sandfly Marketing Inc.; and the University of Lethbridge Agility Program. Together, the members of the consortium will review applications and make recommendations for funding.
The consortium led by CFLSA will open additional application periods later in 2020. A full program description and requirements for eligibility are available online at www.cflsa.ca.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Applications for the IRP will be accepted between January 8 and February 10, 2020 through the program’s website, https://cfc-fcc.smapply.ca/.
An information session on the IRP application process will be held at the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta office on Tuesday, January 14 at 10:30 a.m. Please RSVP to IRP@cflsa.ca.
Community Foundations of Canada will present a webinar on Monday, January 13 at 11:00 a.m. for social purpose organizations interested in learning more about the IRP. To register for this free webinar, visit https://www.communityfoundations.ca/upcoming-events/.
About the Investment Readiness Program
Community Foundations of Canada is a partner in the Investment Readiness Program (IRP), which helps deliver capital from the Government of Canada to social purpose organizations preparing to participate successfully in the social finance market. As a regional partner with CFC in delivering the IRP, CFLSA will help empower others to be ready to unlock innovative solutions to social challenges. More information about the IRP is available from www.irp-ppi.ca.