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Seven new projects are raising awareness about social finance across Canada

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the Awareness Raising Fund (ARF), an ecosystem-building initiative funded by the Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program (IRP).  

The following recipients were carefully selected due to their innovative work in the social finance / social innovation ecosystem in Canada.  The selection process was led by the IRP team at the Canadian CED Network, candidates were invited to apply by nominations from the IRP Ecosystem Builder partners and Readiness Support partners.  The criteria from which these organizations were assessed regarded gaps in the IRP-led social finance / social innovation ecosystem such as by demographics (including BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+), regions where the IRP has not been significantly reaching, and by sector.  

Congratulations to the following organizations and their projects:

  • Aki Energy
    • Gap: led by and serving Indigenous communities
    • Project: Raising awareness of social innovation tools amongst like-minded Indigenous nonprofits in Alberta. Aki Energy will develop resource materials to describe their approach in Manitoba and conduct a two-day workshop for Indigenous nonprofits in and around Edmonton to share how social innovation is working for them in Manitoba. 
    • Funding secured: $20,000
  • CAFIID (Canada Forum for Impact Investment and Development)
    • Gap: women-focused, gender equity
    • Project: CAFIID aims to enhance the ability of its Gender Lens Investing (GLI) Community of Practice (CoP) to create greater awareness of best practices in gender lens investing across Canadian social finance intermediaries and the broader social finance and innovation community.  This will result in the promotion, uptake and acceleration of impact investment models that aim to reduce gender inequalities, embedding best practices from international models.
    • Funding secured: $25,000
  • Enchanté Network
    • Gap: led by and serving BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+ communities
    • Project: As Canada’s largest network of 2SLGBTQI+ organizations, Enchanté will take a network approach to achieve the three objectives of this project: 1) bringing awareness to 2SLGBTQI+ communities about how SISF can benefit them, 2) building SISF organizational capacity with 2SLGBTQI+ organizations, and 3) promoting collaboration between 2SLGBQTI+ organizations interested in SISF.
    • Funding secured: $50,000
  • Food Secure Canada
    • Gap: led by and serving BIPOC communities, food sector
    • Project: Decolonization for Black and Indigenous peoples’ food sovereignty by hosting a series of bi-lingual webinars to share best practices and reinforce local capacity to build Indigenous and black food systems through social entrepreneurship, social finance, social innovation and policy change. 
    • Funding secured: $19,380
  • Immigrants CAN
    • Gap: led by and serving immigrants/newcomers, BIPOC, women
    • Project: To build awareness of Black Women Owned Enterprises (BWOE) and supportive resources by creating a National database of Black Women owned social enterprises across Canada and an ecosystem map of BWOEs and supportive resources.
    • Funding secured: $50,000
  • Local Food and Farm Co-ops
    • Gap: food sector, Northern communities
    • Project:  To raise awareness regarding the role and value of value chain coordination in supporting thriving regional food systems and economies. To build skills for value chain participants to increase their ability to engage effectively.
    • Funding secured: $25,000
  • Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN)
    • Gap: led by and serving Indigenous communities, Northern communities, food sector
    • Project: To enhance the capacity of First Nations across Ontario, particularly those in Northern and remote regions, to better understand social finance with an emphasis on increasing food security in their communities.
    • Funding secured: $30,000

We look forward to seeing how this funding will enhance and impact the social finance / social innovation ecosystem with the above listed organizations and projects in 2023-2024.