OTTAWA, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, at the inaugural Women in Social
Business Forum, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human
Resources and Skills Development, discussed the potential of social
finance as an innovative approach to addressing social challenges in
Canada and released a report on the results of last year's National
Call for Concepts for Social Finance.
"As we tackle social and economic challenges, we must look at new ways
to unlock innovation in local communities," said Minister Finley. "We
need continued partnership from public, private and not-for-profit
sectors to improve results and maximize our investments."
The report, Harnessing the Power of Social Finance, highlights the benefits of social finance and social innovation in
creating new financial tools and partnerships to broaden the impact of
existing programs or to support new initiatives. The report profiles
15 concepts that represent a wide range of the proposals received and
includes information on national and international perspectives. Many
of the proposals support at-risk youth, the unemployed, people with
disabilities and seniors. Various financial tools were suggested,
including social impact bonds, pay-for-performance contracts,
investment funds and social enterprises.
Through consecutive economic action plans, the Harper Government has
highlighted the importance of social finance and acknowledged the
numerous opportunities it can provide to help improve social outcomes.
Last year, the Government launched a National Call for Concepts for
Social Finance to develop a bank of ideas and received over
"I am pleased to announce that the report on the Call for Concepts for
Social Finance is now available to the public," added Minister Finley.
"Moving forward, our Government will follow through on these concepts
by immediately bringing together key players in the non-profit and
private sectors with the goal to develop "investment ready" ideas into
social finance pilot projects."
The Government of Canada remains focused on maintaining strong and
healthy communities. Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on the
Government's record of support through its plan for jobs, growth and
To read the full report, Harnessing the Power of Social Finance, visit
Social finance is an approach to mobilizing private capital that delivers a social
dividend and an economic return in the achievement of social and
environmental goals. It creates opportunities for investors to finance
projects that benefit society and for community organizations to access
new sources of funds.
Social finance engages a wider field of participants in generating new
ideas for more effective programs in many areas—such as unemployment,
poverty or homelessness—while introducing private sector best
As part of broader efforts to research the potential of social finance
to augment existing programs with new capital and new ideas, Human
Resources and Skills Development Canada asked Canadians to participate
in the National Call for Concepts for Social Finance between November
2012 and January 2013. The questionnaire was designed to capture a
broad spectrum of input, and asked submitters to outline the social
problem being addressed, the population being targeted, as well as
provide specific information on the social finance idea being proposed.
The 154 responses to the Call showed that there are many innovative and
collaborative solutions being developed to resolve a wide range of
societal challenges by citizens, businesses, charities and other
groups. Submissions featured social impact bonds, social investment
funds and social enterprises, as well as ideas for structuring the flow
of funds and suggestions for using social finance methods to scale up
successful existing programs or introduce new services.
The Report, Harnessing the Power of Social Finance, provides information on social finance, including national and
international perspective, and profiles fifteen concepts from the Call.
The fifteen concepts illustrate the wide range of ideas submitted and
social finance tools described in various parts of the country.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada's Skilled4Success, a concept for introducing young people to career
options in the skilled trades
Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation's Cancer Coaching concept to increase that seeks to improve the quality
of life for cancer patients
Pathways to Education Canada's Northern Graduation Network, a concept to increase high school
graduation rates in northern communities
Aboriginal Savings Corporation of Canada/J.W. McConnell Family
Foundation's proposed First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Fund, a concept for
accelerating investment in these areas
Social Finance for Supportive Housing Working Group's concept to fund 10,000 housing units for people living with mental
JVS Toronto's Youth Reach Program, a concept targeting marginalized youth who are at
risk of conflict with the law
Valuenomics' Avanti Program, a concept for addressing skills shortages in northern
British Columbia's resources sector
Ottawa Community Loan Fund's Senior Housing Project, a concept that would develop small-scale,
independent community-based living units
Maytree Foundation's Immigrant Mentoring Program, a proposed support system concept that
pairs new Canadians with experienced professionals in their occupations
OMEGA Foundation's SmartSAVER, a concept to boost participation of lower income families
in the Canada Learning Bond and Registered Education Savings Plan
Mouvement des Caisses Desjardins' microcredit program, a concept that provides interest-free loans,
longer payback periods and business training to underserved
The Toronto Enterprise Fund, a concept that provides business coaching and financing to social
enterprises staffed by marginalized people
Carleton Centre for Community Innovation's Canadian Impact Infrastructure Exchange, a concept describing a
proposed method of building capacity for large-scale public/private
SEA Change Nation's LEARN-LAUNCH-SHARE Program, a concept to scale up a social enterprise
that introduces at-risk youth to business and provides support for
their new business ideas
YMCA Canada's Single-window Solution for Youth Employment Support, a concept
proposing a national service delivery model for streamlining access to
internships and job opportunities
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
Office of Minister Finley
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and
Skills Development Canada
IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.
This news release is available online at www.actionplan.gc.ca.