Posts Tagged ‘Social Finance’

New Report: Building Sustainable Food Systems in Canada

On the occasion of World Food Day, a new report is drawing attention to the social and environmental challenges facing global food systems and the implications for Canadian investors of unsustainable practices by food companies.

The report, Building Sustainable Food Systems in Canada: A Role for Investors, was released by the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE), a leading Canadian responsible investment organization. The report was funded by Canadian philanthropic foundations including the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.

Read the report.

New Social Finance Tool

Last year’s Food Farms Fish and Finance Forum catalyzed the creation of Starting Point, a learning resource aimed at providing investors, entrepreneurs, decision-makers and community leaders in the food, farming and fishing sector with an overview of social finance—a tool for solving community-based problems. The Starting Point Module was recently launched by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, FarmStart and the
Ecology Action Centre.

The Foundation has also been collaborating with Christie Young of FarmStart on a strategic landscape analysis of the financing needs and opportunities of the sustainable food, fish and farming sectors in Canada. We aim to use the results of this analysis to inform the Foundation’s investment decisions and to share our learning with funders and other relevant stakeholders.

MaRS Launches a New Initiative and Hosts Impact Ontario

The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing is pleased to announce the launch of their newest initiative: Community Finance Solutions. It provides expert advisory support to high-potential initiatives creating new impact investing funds and innovative financial products. Click here for more information.

MaRs is also hosting Impact Ontario on March 18th, a landmark conference that brings Ontario ventures together with investors and intermediaries. Click here for more details.

Food, Farms, Fish and Finance

A forum for exploring the delicious, diverse, and delicate potential for social finance and impact investing in our food system will be taking place on Saturday May 25 and Sunday May 26 at the
Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.

For more info visit Sustain Ontario.

Innoweave Workshops

Innoweave workshops on Cloud ComputingDevelopmental EvaluationImpact and Strategic ClaritySocial Finance, and Social Enterprise are taking place across Canada.

To learn how your organization can participate, click here.

For the latest Innoweave news and activities, visit

Innoweave Workshops

Innoweave is the Foundation’s platform for sharing practical tools for social innovation. It is organized as a series of modules, available online or in workshops that are now being offered across Canada.

The following Innoweave opportunities for non-profit organizations are currently available:

The Impact and Strategic Clarity module, a six-month guided planning process taking place across Canada, starting in April 2013. Applications for this module are due March 4.
A full-day Cloud Computing workshop on April 18 in Toronto, hosted by the Sustainability Network. Applications are due March 22.
A full-day Social Enterprise workshop on April 16 in Hamilton, hosted by United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton. Applications are due March 15.

Individuals who are seasoned facilitators and have an interest in Social Enterprise can attend Innoweave’s Social Enterprise Facilitator Training on April 15-16. This training will allow facilitators to use Innoweave’s open-access curriculum to deliver a Social Enterprise workshop within their own networks. Applications for the Facilitator Training are due March 15.

Applications for the following workshops for non-profit organizations will open in the coming weeks, with applications due in early April. Space is limited, so sign up early.

Social Finance on May 1 in Edmonton, hosted by Social Enterprise Fund
Developmental Evaluation on May 2 in Calgary, hosted by United Way Calgary
Social Enterprise on May 10 in St. John’s, hosted by Newfoundland Community Sector Council

Innovation, Austerity’s Grandchild

SiG Senior Advisor and former Foundation President Tim Brodhead was recently published in the quarterly journal, The Philanthropist. The article, Innovation, Austerity’s Grandchild, addresses how social finance is creating space for innovation, resulting in a new narrative that underscores the critical contribution of the community sector to tackling complex challenges facing Canadian society.

Read the full article here.

Social Finance Update

At the UN PRI-CBERN Academic Network Conference on Responsible Investment in Toronto on October 3, the Foundation’s Erica Barbosa and Concordia University professor Margie Mendell presented on Impact Investing, exchange platforms, and early developments of secondary markets.

Download Impact investing: a preliminary analysis of emergent primary and secondary exchange platforms, to learn more.

Social Finance Spotlight

Visit our website spotlight on Social Finance to learn about the Foundation’s commitment and collaborations in this emerging field.

Spotlight resources include the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance‘s report Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good – Measuring Progress During Year One, and a Social Finance Q & A with past McConnell President, Tim Brodhead.

Private Capital for Public Good

The one year anniversary of the release of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance‘s landmark report, Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good, was celebrated at the official launch of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the 2011 Social Finance Forum: Investing in Good Deals on December 13 and 14 in Toronto.

Nearly four hundred people attended the evening reception celebrating the official launch of the Centre, which is jointly funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the McConnell Foundation and TMX Group Inc. At the reception, guest speaker Antony Bugg-Levine, formerly of the Rockefeller Foundation and now head of Nonprofit Finance Fund, launched his new book, Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference.

Following the reception, the Centre hosted the Social Finance Forum, an annual forum supporting the growth of social finance and impact investing in Canada. The Forum brought social ventures, impact investors and mainstream finance practitioners together with the aim of providing practical education and support to mobilize the exchange of capital and inspire new ideas.

The forum presented leading social finance experts, including Amit Bouri, Director of Strategy and Development at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), who highlighted the importance of measuring social and environmental impact.

The forum also coincided with the Task Force’s release of Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good – Measuring Progress During Year One, a progress report highlighting some of the developments relevant to the recommendations of the Task Force over the past year.

A video highlighting many of the forum’s key events and presentations can be viewed here.