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Social Innovation & Social Finance Strategy

The Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group of experts and leading social innovators, with the Government of Canada, is co-creating a strategy to improve and strengthen our communities and regions through social innovation and social finance.

To better inform the development of the Strategy, the Steering Group has launched an online consultation to hear about new and innovative ideas in communities and regions across Canada.

We want to enable and support communities and organizations to advance new and innovative approaches to persistent social problems.

The overall goal is to improve the lives of the most vulnerable Canadians, and help our communities and regions thrive and flourish in an inclusive and sustainable way. This means helping all Canadians access good jobs and homes, healthy food and strong social connections.

If you’re interested in learning more about this engagement, we invite you to read the Consultation Document.

We invite you to provide a written or visual submission of your ideas by email, using following email address: social_innovation_sociale@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca.


The Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group of experts and leading social innovators, with the Government of Canada, is co-creating a strategy to improve and strengthen our communities and regions through social innovation and social finance.

To better inform the development of the Strategy, the Steering Group has launched an online consultation to hear about new and innovative ideas in communities and regions across Canada.

We want to enable and support communities and organizations to advance new and innovative approaches to persistent social problems.

The overall goal is to improve the lives of the most vulnerable Canadians, and help our communities and regions thrive and flourish in an inclusive and sustainable way. This means helping all Canadians access good jobs and homes, healthy food and strong social connections.

If you’re interested in learning more about this engagement, we invite you to read the Consultation Document.

We invite you to provide a written or visual submission of your ideas by email, using following email address: social_innovation_sociale@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca.


To help shape our strategy, we want to hear your stories about innovative practices taking place in communities and regions across Canada.

Have you seen or done something new, innovative or creative in your community or workplace to address a social problem? Have you seen any improvements that you think are worth sharing?

Share yours!

                          

Please avoid using peoples’ names and the names of other organizations, in order to respect federal privacy laws. In these cases, please use more general names such as “my boss,” “our local food bank,” “our school” and so on.

We encourage you to submit a document, photo or video, to share your ideas, success stories or anything else you feel might be helpful.

Selected stories may be posted on this site, or used in other Government of Canada communications activities.

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  • We are working to increase social procurement in our organization and our community

    by courtneymo, 12 days ago

    Spending can improve social and environmental outcomes. Our charitable mission in Calgary is to support community economic development and so we look to see if our spending is either helping or hindering our mission. We aim to buy from the entrepreneurs that graduate from our programs, from social enterprises in our community, from co-operatives, and other business that demonstrates positive social, environmental, and economic returns. We celebrate the purchasing decision that drives impact and work with staff to understand that cheaper does not always mean better. This is a tool that we share with staff and other organizations in Calgary. http://www.momentum.org/files/Publications/think3-2017.pdf 

    Government... Continue reading

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  • Community Impact Investment

    by redowning, 16 days ago

    We have set up a Community Investment Cooperative here on Vancouver Island to provide a vehicle for local people to invest in community impact on social, economic and environmental conditions in their own backyards.  We will be investing in affordable rental housing, renewable energy, waste recovery and recycling, and sustainable community economic development.  We now have a Coalition of community investment funds across BC to strengthen this work, inspired by initiatives like community economic development investment funds in Nova Scotia.  There are big challenges for this kind of work so that the Federal Social Finance and Social Innovation initiative can... Continue reading

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  • A Book and Cafe : Transforming Community through Youth Skills Development

    by Brent Pudsey, 17 days ago

    In    Winnipeg,    there is  a  social  enterprise ,  known  as    Sam's  Place.   It is  a   cafe ,   theater/ meeting  centre , with  a used bookstore.    Youth  are trained in,  food preparation ,    customer  service  and  working  a  cash register.   Individuals ,    organizations and  groups,  utilize the space for meetings,  musical  and theatrical  performances ,   lectures,   readings and discussions.   Patrons , browse   books and   support  community economic   development  in      Winnipeg, in  Manitoba  , around    Canada  and the world.

    This past summer, I  helped out  as  a  volunteer with the summer  reading program , assisting with  one to one  reading with children,  ... Continue reading

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  • Using applied theatre to address social challenges

    by Elizabeth Copeland, about 1 month ago
    We have used the model of applied theatre with great success with a variety of demographics including:
    • Immigrant women
    • Psychiatric survivors
    • People marginalized by poverty
    • Survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence
    • Children with learning challenges
    • Youth who are dealing with bullying
    • Communities in crisis
    As an example: Working with a group of women who had recently immigrated to Canada (mostly from Africa), we used the tools of the performing arts (song, dance, drama, storytelling) to build confidence, resilience and strengthen interpersonal connections. The program ran for 12 weeks. The first four weeks were dedicated to discussion and creative play... Continue reading

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  • Seniors and Youth Lunch

    by Molly , about 2 months ago

    Our Seniors and Youth Lunch program is an intergenerational cooking and eating program.  Older adults and youth come together to learn food skills together and from each other and they also eat the food they prepare.  In a further twist they have begun to also prepare baked goods for a local weekly bake sale to raise money for the Good Food organization that funds their program.  Although modest, raising the  funds seems to increase the perceived value to the work they do together. 

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  • BCorp Working Together for More Inclusive Workplaces

    by mgifford, about 2 months ago
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    OpenConcept is a Certified B Corporation (B Corp) and an Ottawa web development company. We work with Open Source tools like Drupal to build sites for our clients. We believe that we can work collectively to have a greater impact on our society.

    Earlier in the month at the B Corp Champion's Retreat in Toronto i sat in on many inspiring discussions about becoming a more inclusive workplace. Companies like Greyston (you've likely eaten their brownies without knowing it) have been working tirelessly to increase the employment opportunities for people who were previously unemployable. By having an an open hiring... Continue reading

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  • Empowering people & strengthening our community - A look into Causeway

    by Causeway, about 2 months ago
    Ceo esdc

    Causeway is a not-for-profit agency that helps people with mental health issues and other challenges find rewarding work and live more independently.

    Causeway transforms lives and fuels community economic development through an integrated network of innovative training and employment programs, one-on-one support, and by creating socially-minded businesses.

    Here are a few examples of the programs and services that Causeway offers to clients:

    Causeway's Entrepreneurial Program (CEO)

    Causeway’s CEO Program supports the dreams & aspirations of disabled entrepreneurs who want to start their own business while on ODSP.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvdea_M_EzQ&t=62s

    Cycle Salvation

    Cycle Salvation is a social enterprise... Continue reading

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  • Community Investment Co-ops

    by edenyesh, about 2 months ago

    Localizing Investments for Social and Impact Investing

    While the demand for investing locally is increasing, traditional investment options limit who and where we can invest in.  The result is that most investment capital leaves rural communities and is placed into far off stock markets and corporations.  In 2013, tax filers in rural British Columbia contributed $1.2 Billion new monies into their RRSP’s, much of that money leaving the Province and even Canada.  An unintended consequence is that our money is creating significant jobs and wealth elsewhere in the world, while leaving the places we live, work and play underfinanced.  Imagine how... Continue reading

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  • Kids are a very big part of the solution(s)

    by unicefcanada, about 2 months ago

    Along with our partners, UNICEF Canada has embarked on a 15-year change agenda to lift Canada up international league tables child well-being by 2030. If there is any wicked problem that deserves Canada’s social innovation talents, the lagging outcomes for children in a country with steady GDP growth is among the most significant. Our effort to change the persistent status quo is One Youth.

    There are three core pillars supporting this work: measuring well-being of children and youth with new and improved tools; influencing change by engaging Canadians and decision makers; and designing solutions with kids–especially those... Continue reading

  • Victoria Social Innovation Centre - a new model for Vancouver Island

    by David_VIRCS, 2 months ago

    Surviving is important, thriving is essential.

    Most gardeners know that choosing the right pot size will determine how a plant succeeds. If you plan to grow a tree, and you want it to thrive, you'll need to create the optimal conditions and you'll need to plan for its growth. In the non-profit sector, when funders only allow for very small allowable administrative budgets, "finding the right pot" often means a "small pot" which undermines its long-term outcomes. If an agency doesn't have adequate space, it cannot propose for larger more efficient programmes. 

    As capital grants have become as rare as... Continue reading

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