Photo by Gracia Chua
What is impact investing?
The sector has made considerable strides since its formation in the late 20th-early 21st century. The Global Impact Investor Network (GIIN) estimates the market size in 2017 is USD$114 billion, growing from USD$46 billion in 2014. Investors of all kinds are engaging in impact investing - from Wall Street banks, Silicon Valley VCs, to smaller community banks and credit unions.
Just as energy is transitioning towards becoming "clean", so is money. Impact investing has emerged in the 21st century as a new way of thinking about finance and charity. Unlike traditional finance's philosophy of investing solely for financial returns, impact investing intentionally makes decisions based on the potential social and environmental impact. Unlike traditional philanthropy, impact investing doesn't only grant money, investors ask for a financial return as well.
Building the market in Canada.
The Impact Investment Forum (IIF) intends to build the Canadian impact investing community by showcasing the thought leadership of Canadian experts. Through curated reading lists and a comprehensive research catalogue, it will also educate those who are unfamiliar with the concept. IIF is non-partisan and seeks to give an equal voice to all impact investing organizations in Canada.
The Impact Investment Forum is intended to continue building the impact investing market in Canada. Like the UK and the USA, Canada's social finance market has developed substantially through a vibrant social enterprise community, active impact investments, and a supportive federal government.
Just launched! Social Innovation & Social Finance: Case Studies in Canada
In 2017, the Government of Canada created the Social Innovation & Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group. The group provided 12 recommendations to advance social innovation and mobilize social finance in Canada.
Funded by Government of Canada, the UBC Sauder Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing (SauderS3i) identified 20+ case studies of social innovation in action across Canada.
These case studies represent innovative and new ways of tackling serious challenges faced by Canada. Ranging from projects providing new platforms to finance clean energy projects in Ontario to cafés hiring individuals with barriers to employment in British Columbia, these case studies represent how social innovation can be applied to solve the social and environmental issues we so urgently need to address.
We’d also like to acknowledge the support from Territoires Innovants en Économie Social et Solidaire (TIESS).
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