The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) is thrilled that the federal government has announced an $805M investment in social innovation. By creating a Social Finance Fund ($755M over 10 years) and a capacity building Investment and Readiness fund ($50M over 2 years), Canada will help unlock the potential of the millions of people working in social purpose organizations across the country. Canadian social innovation has grown from the bottom-up, and this federal investment jumps Canada into a position of global leadership.
“There are so many people who are working to put people and planet before profit. We need to help them become investment ready and scale their impact” said Centre for Social Innovation CEO Tonya Surman. “The Social Finance Fund could unlock the potential of social entrepreneurs to solve real problems. This will result in things like fewer people living in poverty, less polarization, and curbing climate change.”
CSI is also delighted to see the creation of Permanent Advisory Committee for the Charitable Sector. Surman spoke to the importance of addressing the confusion in the nonprofit and charitable sector, when she was invited to address a Senate Special Committee on the barriers CSI had to overcome to simply function as a world-leading, nonprofit social purpose co-working space. She called on the government to support social enterprise in the same way they would support any sector they want to see grow.
“Social entrepreneurs know the problems facing this country,” Surman continued. “With support, they will be able to bring innovative solutions to these problems, while also creating jobs and saving the government money.”
The Fall Economic Statement builds on the recommendations from the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Steering Committee. CSI looks forward to seeing all of the recommendations implemented, as the federal government works to create a level playing field for social enterprise in Canada.
“Social innovation is about hope and possibility; it is also about unlocking the potential for everyone to be able to be a part of building a better world”, concluded Surman. “CSI is ecstatic at having the Federal Government recognize the importance of social innovation and civil society as we work together to make Canada the most innovative and caring country in the world.”
CSI was founded in 2004 with a mission to catalyze social innovation. It was the first co-working space in Canada. Since then it created the Community Bond and is a home, campus, and accelerator to 1000 organizations employing 2700 people generating over $250M a year in collective revenue. CSI is also host to the emerging Social Innovation Canada initiative and a leader of the ONE Social Enterprise Project in Ontario.