Applications for the next wave of the Investment Readiness Program open on September 8, 2020 and close October 9.
Investment Readiness Program
The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) is a new funding opportunity for organizations that have a social purpose to help launch, design, measure and scale their organization or project to get ready to access social financing.
The second and final round of applications to CFC’s program opens in September 8, 2020 and runs to October 9, 2020.
You may qualify if your organization is mission-driven, aiming to sell goods or services to earn a revenue while also helping achieve positive social, cultural or environmental objectives.
Social purpose organizations, including charities, for profits, coops and not for profits, sell goods or services with some profits supporting a social, cultural or environmental mission. The IRP helps these organizations access services such as business planning, marketing services and financial planning, to increase their own capacity and prepare for investment.
- A farmshare co-op
- A charity that runs a catering service and provides culinary training for marginalized youth
- A business that sells recycled footwear in order to reduce waste and funds environmental programming
- A store that offers local artisans credit to purchase food in exchange for their crafts.
- Eligible organizations can receive $10,000 to $100,000 in non-repayable funds to develop, design, measure and scale their social purpose organization or project in order to get ready to accept investments.
- The IRP can assist organizations at any stage, from refining an idea to scaling up and preparing for investments.
- The IRP is open to social purpose organizations including charities, non-profits, co-operatives, and for-profits with a social impact.
What is social finance?
Social finance is an investment that has a positive social, cultural, environmental impact that also generates some returns for investors.
Social finance can take the form of loans, where the investor gets their money back plus interest, or equity investments, where the investor owns a part of the organization. Other forms of social finance include community bonds, where many people loan small amounts to one project, and social impact bonds where the investor is paid back by the government or another outcomes purchaser, if the program’s outcomes reduce government costs.
IRP and the Social Finance Fund
The Government of Canada has announced a $755 million Social Finance Fund to support innovative solutions to social challenges. Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) is a partner on the Investment Readiness Program which helps allocate funds from the government of Canada to provide social enterprises leading edge preparedness for the Social Finance Fund. Community foundations in Hamilton, London and Niagara are partnering as the conduit for the funding allocated in this geographic area.
The second round of applications to CFC’s program opens in September 8, 2020 and runs to October 9, 2020.
To apply please visit Niagara Community Foundation IRP webpage.