• News
  • April 17, 2015

Ontario Supports Social Enterprise with $700,000 investment in Ottawa organizations

Province Growing Social Enterprise Sector

April 17, 2015

OTTAWA-To help create jobs and build a fairer, more prosperous province, Ontario is providing funding to two organizations in Ottawa to grow the economy. Through the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund, Ontario is supporting both Community Foundations of Canada and the Ottawa Community Loan Fund with a combined investment of $700,000.

The Community Foundations of Canada is receiving $450,000 to create the Youth Catalyst Fund, which will provide debt and equity financing to early stage social enterprises across the province and will have a specific emphasis on youth employment opportunities. It will be designed as an accessible way for community foundations across the province to get engaged with social finance.

The Ottawa Community Loan Fund is receiving $250,000 to provide financing to early/mid-stage social enterprises in the Ottawa area, including grant and loan financing and support for selling to the key sectors of the Ottawa economy.

Social Enterprises are businesses that have a positive community or social impact while also remaining financially sustainable. For example, teaching skills to underprivileged youth. The province’s Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund is supporting 11 social finance projects across Ontario. This $4 million contribution will leverage over $6 million in private investment.

Making Ontario a leader for social enterprise is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.


“Social enterprises present a huge opportunity for the economy while fostering values that matter to Ontarians, such as creating a fairer society. This social finance fund will help connect the province’s high-potential, early-stage social enterprises, including those in Ottawa with the capital they need to grow and create jobs. It will also help position Ontario as a global impact investment leader.”

– Marie-France Lalonde, MPP for Ottawa Orléans and Parliamentary Assistant for Economic
Development, Employment and Infrastructure.

“I am very excited that our government is investing in Ottawa-based social enterprises through the Community Foundations of Canada and the Ottawa Community Loan Fund. We know that social enterprises offer us a win-win - good-paying local jobs coupled with positive community impact.”

– Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre

"This funding will support an ecosystem approach in Ottawa to support start-up and early-stage Social Enterprises in both official languages, building upon previous successes in Ottawa and scaling Social Enterprise in Ottawa comparably to other Ontario communities, providing improved employment opportunities especially for marginalized sectors such as youth, women, disabled and others."

– Michael Oster, President of Ottawa Community Loan Fund

The Youth Catalyst Fund brings together support from the philanthropic, private and public sectors. It will support social enterprises across Ontario that create employment opportunities for young people. It will also leverage social finance expertise and technical support from Deloitte and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. Community foundations across Ontario will be invited to leverage their assets by investing in the Youth Catalyst Fund and to use their community knowledge to identify worthy social enterprise projects in their regions.

– Andrew Chunilall, Chief Operating Officer, Community Foundations of Canada


 The fund is one of the key commitments of Ontario’s Social Enterprise Strategy.

 Ontario has approximately 10,000 social enterprises that employ an estimated 160,000 people.

 Ontario is home to SVX, the first social impact investing platform of its kind in North America.
In November 2014, SVX expanded to California, the first time it scaled its operation outside of Canada.

 In a decade, the global social finance market will generate up to $1 trillion in new impact investment capital.

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