OTTAWA, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of
Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism,
highlighted the Government of Canada's support for entrepreneurs and
championed social innovation to effectively deal with society's social
challenges in remarks to Startup Canada's Day on the Hill.
"We recognize that government does not have all the answers to dealing
with society's social challenges," said Minister Kenney. "Communities
and businesses have long been the leaders in finding innovative
solutions to helping vulnerable Canadians. Governments should tap into
these solutions and no longer ignore them."
Social innovation is about tapping into all sectors to generate new
ideas and tools that have a social impact and to address social
problems in new ways. It is about recognizing that government is not
and cannot be the universal fixer. For government, social innovation is
also about looking at ways to spend tax dollars more effectively and
deliver more sustainable results.
"Our government's top priority is creating jobs, economic growth and
long-term prosperity," added Minister Kenney. "Our government is
helping entrepreneurs create jobs in Canada through tax relief,
reducing red tape and expanding their access to venture capital."
Launched in May 2012, Startup Canada is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run
grassroots organization. It represents more than 250 volunteers, more
than 55 000 entrepreneurs and more than 400 non-profit organizations
that provide capital, mentorship, space and services to entrepreneurs.
The Government is now testing cutting-edge projects to help community
organizations develop and implement innovative ideas for social
problems and achieve greater, lasting impacts for Canadians.
This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
Government Support for Small Businesses
Our government is helping small businesses create jobs and growth by:
Reducing the small business tax rate from 12 percent to 11 percent.
Through the Canadian Youth Business foundation, giving young
entrepreneurs access to funds, mentors and other resources to help
start their own business.
Helping entrepreneurs hang on to their money with measures like the
Lifetime Capital Gains exemption for small business.
Extending and expanding the Hiring Credit for Small Business.
Increasing support for business innovation through the National Research
Council and helping small and medium-size businesses access research at
universities and colleges.
Creating a team at the Canada Revenue Agency specifically to focus on
reducing red tape for small businesses.
Through the Venture Capital Action Plan, increasing access to capital
for small businesses.
What is social innovation?
Social innovation refers to developing new ideas or using existing ideas
to find solutions to social challenges. Social innovation is an
initiative, product, process or program that creates positive social
outcomes for societies.
What is social finance?
Social finance is an approach to mobilizing multiple sources of 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.
What is social enterprise?
Social enterprise is one model of social finance. It is the use of
business strategies by both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
to achieve a social good. This emerging business model is helping to
increase the financial strength of community organizations by providing
an alternate source of revenue to tackle complex social problems.
Social enterprises are commonly run by a charity or not-for-profit
organization. Revenue raised by the business operation is reinvested
into the charity to support its programs and operations.
What is the OECD Better Life Index?
The Better Life Index is an interactive tool that allows citizens to
compare Canada's well-being with that of other countries and is part of
the OECD report How's Life? 2013. The Better Life Index looks beyond traditional metrics, such as GDP,
and identifies 11 essential indicators of well-being: housing, income,
jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life
satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.
Canada scores exceptionally well, ranking among the top countries in a
number of areas. For example, compared to the OECD average, more Canadians aged 15 to 64 have a paid job and there is less long-term
unemployment. Canada is also well above the average in terms of
education and is praised as being one of the strongest OECD countries
in students' skills, scoring high in reading, literacy, math and
science. In addition, Canada stood above the average in terms of
housing and its citizens' level of satisfaction with their lives.
Employment and Social Development Canada's support for social innovation
National Call for Concepts for Social Finance
As part of broader efforts to research the potential of social finance
to support social innovation and augment existing programs with new
capital and new ideas, Employment and Social Development Canada asked
Canadians to participate in the National Call for Concepts for Social
Finance between November 2012 and January 2013.
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 subsequent report, Harnessing the Power of Social Finance, provides information on social finance, including national and
international perspectives, and profiles 15 concepts from the Call.
Literacy and essential skills pilot
The Government of Canada is leading a pilot to test new ways of
generating employer and private investments to improve labour market
outcomes for Canadians. This pilot is inspired by the social impact
bond initiatives seen in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The pilot is expected to be active in late fall 2013 and reach 1 600
low-skilled workers or unemployed Canadians seeking work across the
The pilot includes:
The Association of Canadian Community Colleges' Essential Skills Social
Finance Pilot. This stream will test models where private investors
provide the upfront capital to fund programs to support unemployed
people to develop the literacy and essential skills needed to better
connect to available jobs.
The Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society's The Skilling Up in
Environmental Service: A Social Finance Approach. This stream will test
new incentives for employers to invest in literacy and essential skills
training of workers and examine how a return-on-investment model could
result in better outcomes for both.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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