Social Venture Impact Investing: the Canadian Landscape

“We are the first generation to be able to end poverty, and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail to uphold our moral and historical responsibilities.” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General United Nations 2007-2016

At SauderS3i, we have a long tradition of working with social ventures and impact investors. In 2012, the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub was established to support social entrepreneurs from the University of British Columbia to develop viable businesses with strong social missions. Subsequently, the UBC Impact Fund was created to provide investment capital into university student- or faculty-led social ventures. With the support of The McConnell Foundation, our experience designing and implementing these initiatives has led us to a new chapter: undertaking an extensive research project that examines the dynamics of impact investing in Canadian social ventures.

This report aims to provide a robust analysis of impact investing in Canadian social ventures. It is designed to answer three main questions:

What are the market dynamics for social venture impact investing?

We estimate the market size of the demand for social venture investments, as well as the major pain-points, friction points and barriers that social ventures face.

What is the appetite for social venture impact investing?

We analyze the investment profiles of a variety of investors, ranging from foundations and family offices to banks and insurance asset managers, to explore if and how social venture investments fit into their investment portfolios. 

What can be done to better support social ventures in Canada?

We provide recommendations that address the issues faced by stakeholders from both the demand and supply side.

Read the Executive Summary
Read the Full Report