What’s new at the Centre
MCII Q2 Newsletter (July-Sept 2013)
Centre news and updates
Mobilizing private capital for public good
On September 19, the Centre officially launched SVX (Social Venture Connexion) at the Toronto Stock Exchange. SVX, the first local impact investment platform of its kind in North America, aims to connect investors and funds with local ventures that have demonstrated social and/or environmental impact and the potential for financial return.
To celebrate the launch, Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District, joined Tom Kloet, CEO, TMX Group, the Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, and Adam Spence, Associate Director, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, to open trading that day. SVX contributors TMX Group, Torys LLP, KPMG and others were also took part in the launch.
Please welcome SVX’s founding issuers: ChangeIt; Community Forward Fund; The Fair Trade Jewellery Company; Frontenac Community Mental Health and Addiction Services; Homestead Organics; Investeco; Oliberté; REfficient; RocketOwl; SolarShare; TAS; and ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc.
Convening Canadian and global leadership in impact investing
This year, the Centre will serve as a co-host of the social finance stream at the Social Enterprise World Forum in Calgary. Members of our team will steward the following events at the Forum:
1) Canadian Leadership in Impact Investing meeting
The Centre, in partnership with Trico Charitable Foundation, will convene key Canadian and global leaders in impact investing to advance a co-ordinated framework for strategic action based on the recommendations of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance. The event aims to develop a greater understanding of impact investing activity in Canada and internationally; identify champions and engagement opportunities; and set forth a three-year strategic action plan for propelling impact investing in Canada.
A two-day intensive lab will bring together social innovation leaders to support six organizations in bringing system-changing initiatives to fruition.
3) Panel presentations
- Scaling Social Impact: Reducing the friction between finance and social impact goals
- Linking Demand and Supply: The role of intermediaries in impact investing
- Inclusive Economies are Ending the Poverty Cycle
- Thinking Big: Making more than change for early-stage social ventures
Hosted by the Business Development Bank of Canada, this session will feature seven impact ventures and funds, and connect accredited investors looking for impact investment opportunities with entrepreneurs seeking capital.
Helping ventures unlock their impact and growth potential
The Centre recently revealed the inaugural cohort of Impact 8. This intensive venture acceleration program supports social ventures in the early-growth stage to attract and manage investments and scale their impact.
Representing Canada internationally
SOCAP13: The Centre joined the world’s pioneering impact investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, civic leaders and innovators at SOCAP13. We also announced Impact Ontario, a partnership between the Government of Ontario, Social Capital Markets and MaRS. SocialFinance.ca provided event coverage as an official SOCAP13 media partner.
Policy Innovation in Impact Investing: Earlier this summer, the Centre represented MaRS as the Canadian delegate at the Policy Innovation in Impact Investing conference in England. The conference, organized by the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative, launched the London Principles, a set of guidelines designed for government officials addressing social objectives.
Partnering for Global Impact 2013: The Centre was a media partner at Partnering for Global Impact 2013 in Lugano, Switzerland. Our own Tristina Sinopoli sat down with Sir Ronal Cohen for his insights on the future of impact investing.
Growing B Corps in Canada
Since July, the B Corp team at the Centre has certified seven new B Corps: Analytica Advisors, Common Good Solutions, Reunion Island Coffee, Strateco Partners, Summerhill, TAS and Detailing Knights. There are now 81 B Corps in Canada and 830 internationally.
Recognizing leadership in impact investing
SocialFinance.ca is proud to host the second annual Social Finance Awards. The awards are presented to leaders who are catalyzing the Canadian social finance marketplace.
This year, the categories for the awards are Excellence in Community Development; Excellence in Mission Investing; Excellence in Sector Talent Building; and the Innovator Award for Most Promising Social Finance Collaboration.
Nominate a leader for the Excellence award categories. A public voting period for the Innovator Award finalists will begin in October. Award winners will be announced during Impact 8 Demo Day on December 5.
Fostering thought leadership
Our Knowledge Hub has recently expanded and been redeveloped for increased usability. The Centre will also launch new starting point modules to provide targeted information for investment board of foundations, asset managers, public policy developers and not-for-profit organizations.
The Knowledge Hub includes;
- A resource database, populated with material covering a range of topics related to social finance;
- A fund database of impact-oriented financial sources in Canada; and
- Your Guide to Social Finance, developed in partnership with Social Innovation Generation and Ontario Trillium Foundation, which includes the who, what, why and how of social finance in Canada.
We have also partnered with RBC Foundation and Purpose Capital to produce Canada’s first State of the Nation Report on Impact Investing. The report is intended to be an annual report that provides reliable and consistent information about impact investing activity as well as analysis on specific sectors where growth is expected.
Strengthening our team
Job posting: The Centre is hiring a Communications Associate to manage online content management and operations. Applications are due by October 7.
New hire: In August, the Centre hired Sarah Doyle as our new Senior Policy Advisor. Sarah is responsible for leading policy initiatives and working with community, government and private sector stakeholders to create and advance policy that supports the development of a Canadian impact investing marketplace. Prior to joining the Centre, Sarah worked in the Federal Public Service as a policy analyst at the Privy Council Office, where she developed advice for the Prime Minister on a range of social policy issues. Sarah holds a master of science in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar.
Social finance in Canada and abroad
- RBC’s Social Finance Initiative, through the RBC Generator, invested $500,000 in the MaRS Cleantech Fund. RBC Generator is a $10-million pool of capital dedicated for investment in businesses that tackle social and environmental challenges while generating a financial return.
- In July, Accelerating Social Impact CCC Ltd. became Canada’s first hybrid corporation and BC’s first community contribution company (CCC). CCCs are the new social enterprise structure in BC, similar to community interest companies in the UK, and limited profit corporations and benefit corporations in the US. To register as a CCC, a company must allocate 69% of its profit “toward a social purpose, and it must have at least three directors at the time of incorporation.”
- The G8 Social Impact Investment Forum announced the formation of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce. The group will develop a policy framework for a standardized approach to impact measurement and provide methods for foundations, institutions and private investors to engage in impact investing. Ted Anderson, director of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, was selected as one of two Canadian representatives.
Tap into the conversation at SocialFinance.ca
SocialFinance.ca continues to host dynamic conversation on impact investing. The top 10 posts, based on page views from July 1 to September 6, 2013, were:
- Kickstarter in Canada: friend or foe? by Polina Minkovski
- Job Opportunity with School for Social Entrepreneurs by Adam Spence
- From scratch: The story of one woman’s quest to create an investment company with purpose by Bonnie Foley-Wong
- Will Social Impact Bonds lead to “skimming”? by Jessica Leifer
- Are we headed toward an “accelerator bubble”? A call for impact measurement by Sameer Vasta
- Instructing for Impact: the State of Social Finance Education in Canada by Tansim Anwar
- Thank you Debra Foubert: An open letter from the founder of the SVX to the OSC by Adam Spence
- Meet the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing Fellows by Bronwyn Oatley
- SOCAP13 speaker highlight: Nine insights with Jed Emerson by Bronwyn Oatley
- Can crowdfunding be considered social finance? by Polina Minkovski
- Instructing for Impact: University of Waterloo by Tasnim Anwar
What would you like to see more of on SocialFinance.ca? Become part of the conversation. Email Ellen Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to know more about how the Centre mobilizes private capital for public good? Be sure to read our previous newsletter.