TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is moving forward on its commitment to develop a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy to unlock new innovative approaches that improve the well-being of Canadians and support the social enterprise sector and social economy in Canada. In support of this commitment, the Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, spoke today at the 10th annual Social Finance Forum held at Toronto's MaRS Discovery District.
Social innovation is a new solution to a social or economic problem which delivers better results than traditional approaches. Social finance is a tool that seeks to mobilize private capital for the public good. Both social innovation and social finance often involve collaboration across different levels of government, charities and the not-for-profit and private sectors to act on a common social issue.
Hosted by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, the Social Finance Forum attracts more than 400 investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders and as such, is one of the biggest gatherings of social finance professionals in the country. Minister Duclos spoke about the Social Innovation and Social Finance Co-Creation Steering Group and the recent launch of an online consultation process. As part of the Government's ongoing efforts to develop a strategy with the community of stakeholders it is intended for, the Steering Group is asking Canadians and community leaders from across the country to share their stories and innovative solutions to enduring social problems.
"The time has come for the Government to look beyond traditional approaches. By taking part in events such as this one and listening to Canada's innovators and job creators, we are putting innovation at the forefront of our social policies. Only when leaders from all fields come together to share their ideas and approaches will we co‑develop a strategy that generates tangible solutions to real issues, and creates truly measurable outcomes for Canadians most in need."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
"As part of our commitment to strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to joint it, our government is bringing a new spirit of innovation to social policy. Collaboration is a key principle of social innovation. We want to hear from innovative thinkers and doers, and those working within our communities. Remaining true to this principle, we intend to work together to co-create a strategy with, and not simply for Canadians."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
- Membership of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co‑Creation Steering Group was announced in June 2017. Composed of 17 passionate and diverse leaders, practitioners and experts from multiple fields, the Group plays a central role in the co‑development of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy with the Government of Canada.
- In order to gather ideas from communities across Canada and keep in line with the Strategy's collaborative approach, the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group launched an online consultation process on September 29, 2017. Canadians are invited to share their views through the online engagement before the end of December 2017.
- Social innovation, social enterprise and social finance have been successfully used in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. For example, in the United Kingdom, government support for social finance over the past five years has helped generate over $1 billion (£600 million) in social investment and grow the domestic social enterprise sector, which now employs 2.3 million individuals.
- In recent years, the Government of Canada has been exploring social innovation and social finance to increase the effectiveness of its programs. It is already testing new types of partnerships and approaches (e.g. social impact bonds, micro-loans, pay-for-performance and support for social enterprises).
- Since 2014, several Employment and Social Development Canada grants and contributions programs, including the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the youth employment program Skills Link, have launched open calls for proposals seeking submissions for innovative projects.
Social Innovation and Social Finance public consultation
Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group
Minister Duclos visits the United Kingdom to study social innovation approaches to improve social and economic outcomes for people and communities
About the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy
Community organizations in Canada are turning to innovative approaches to better serve those most in need and respond to increasing funding pressures. Innovation in the community sector takes various forms, whether it is not-for-profit service delivery organizations developing new interventions that better respond to users' needs, or forging new partnerships with investors and funders to unlock new sources of capital.
The Government of Canada believes that we need to expand on these new approaches in the community sector and wishes to further promote community-driven innovations. That is why the Government has committed to developing a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy for Canada which will provide better support for community organizations working to achieve positive solutions to persistent social problems, including those facing vulnerable populations.
The development of a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy is a joint mandate letter commitment of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
The Strategy will aim to help government achieve social outcomes in a smarter and more efficient way, while also improving the capacity of those working in the social sector to achieve their objectives.
Scope of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group
The Steering Group is responsible for co-creating a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy. Its members will work over the next 12 months to define the priorities the Strategy will address and begin developing policy measures to advance social innovation and social finance in Canada.
Through consultation and engagement activities, the Steering Group will seek perspectives of community leaders on the Strategy. The Group will also draw on previous findings from government consultation and engagement activities related to social innovation and social finance.
Steering Group members will be asked to share their perspectives on three key challenges which have been raised during discussions led by stakeholders on social innovation and social finance in recent years:
- the skills and capacity of community organizations and governments to pursue social innovation and social finance, including their capacity to measure social outcomes and impact;
- federal laws, regulations and policies that have an impact on the ability of community organizations to participate in social innovation and social finance initiatives; and
- access to the capital needed to fund, replicate and expand the reach of social innovation and social finance projects.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]