Investment Readiness Program

We all want communities where everyone can belong and thrive. The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) supports new and innovative ways of getting us there.

The IRP is designed to help social enterprises to explore, grow and flourish across the country, contributing to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges. You can apply for between $10,000-$100,000 in non-repayable capital to help launch, design, measure and scale your social enterprise, to get ready to access investment in Canada’s growing social finance marketplace.

So if you’ve got an enterprise that does good, whether in its second week, second year or decade, the IRP may be for you. Watch this video to find out more or follow this link:

 

What is the IRP opportunity?

Business doesn’t have to be just about the bottom line. Community leaders know that business can be done differently, and can be a tool for social innovation that unlocks effective solutions to pressing social, cultural and environmental concerns.

Successful applicants will get between $10,000-$100,000 (with the average funding size at $30,000) to invest in their social enterprise and help make an even greater positive change in their community.

These funds can be used to research, launch, design, measure and scale up your social enterprise to achieve your sustainability plan to take on investment in the future.

  • Funds are intended to be used to access outside expert advice or services to:
  • Explore a new business idea or develop a business plan to test your inspiring idea
  • Create a marketing plan to reach new audiences
  • Prepare the documentation needed to approach potential investors as you move to taking on investment capital
  • Plan new products or services to grow revenue

The funds are not eligible for use towards core operating costs. They should move your enterprise forward along the spectrum from idea to investment-ready.

This program is a related to the Government of Canada’s announcement of a $755-million Social Finance Fund to support innovative solutions to social challenges.  Community Foundations of Canada is a partner in the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) which helps allocate funds from the Government of Canada to social purpose organizations preparing to successfully participate in the social finance market. Locally, the Abbotsford Community Foundation has been chosen to be a Regional Partner for the Investment Readiness Program.

What is a social enterprise?

An organization or program that is mission-driven, aiming to sell goods or services to earn a revenue, while also helping achieve positive social, cultural or environmental results.

From farm-share co-ops to after-school arts programs, social enterprises serve the needs of communities all across Canada. Some examples of social enterprises include:

  • A non-profit that employs people facing barriers to employment to perform eco-friendly home retrofits
  • A charity that runs a catering service and provides culinary training for marginalized youth
  • A co-op that offers affordable laundry and delivery service while giving work experience to people living in poverty
  • A business that creates and sells footwear made from recycled materials in order to reduce waste and uses some of its revenues to fund environmental programming.
  • A construction business that provides skilled trades training and employment opportunities to newcomers and single parents
  • A store that offers local artisans credit to purchase food in exchange for their crafts

Prepare Your application

  1. Read through the Program Guidelines and FAQsThese documents will cover everything you need to know about the IRP. We strongly recommend reviewing them thoroughly to determine if this program is a fit for your organization.
  2. Watch the webinarWatch this recording of an informational webinar from Round 1 of this program.  We will also be providing further opportunity for information sharing prior to preparing to apply for interested SPO’s.  Further details to follow.
  3. Starting September 8, you can submit your application.Applications open on September 8. Once you’re ready, you can submit your full application through the Community Foundations of Canada online application portal at https://cfc-fcc.smapply.ca/The deadline to apply is October 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM PT.

Resources

Below are some resources to help you learn more about the program, whether this opportunity is right for you, and to support your application:

The Abbotsford Community Foundation is a regional partner for this opportunity and the amount available for funding is limited by the geographical area represented.  The ACF has a total of $90,000 available for the next round of funding which opens up for applications on September 8th.  Deadline to apply is October 9th.

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