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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Canada's Catching Up!

 “Canada, like many other jurisdictions, is at an innovation crossroads.”
-Ilse Treurnicht

We may have been lagging behind countries like the UK in the development of social finance markets in Canada, but after reading this recent post by Ilse Treurnicht, the CEO of MaRS Discovery District, I feel confident in Canada’s ability to catch-up with the global movement in social finance and social innovation as a whole.

In the article, Treurnicht announces that Social Innovation Generation (SiG), a national project partnered with MaRS (check out this project if you haven’t yet!, has launched an independent Task Force on Social Finance. The Canadian Task Force will help boost the social investment sector in Canada, creating potential for more businesses aimed at driving social and environmental change. Hopefully, the Task Force will work to build a structure that enables social entrepreneurs to obtain the capital they often have trouble accessing.

I’m very excited to see the growing interest in social finance being put into tangible practice! I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any developments this new Task Force accomplishes.

Some great quotes from this post:

“Governments need to open more public services to charities and social enterprises – the organizations that bring in revenues, even running profitable enterprises, and then channel the surplus back to the community. They need every opportunity to expand their work.” –The Globe and Mail (editorial)

“We have had tremendous success in Canada in unleashing business to create wealth. We have learned that entrepreneurship is an unbeatable force. Government unleashed the power of business entrepreneurs when it provided them with needed public goods and functioning capital markets. Government needs to do the same for social entrepreneurs by providing them with the wherewithal to succeed.” – Canada’s former Prime Minister Paul Martin and Task Force Member.

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