It seems the social finance movement in Canada is at a place where the base for growth has been built, the goals have been set, the leaders are working from various angles to find impact investors and lobby the government.
I'm just a recent business grad who is deeply passionate about social innovation. I'm also fortunate enough to work for a social enterprise (Canada's first B Corp might I add!). I keep up-to-date on social finance news, write my thoughts, and engage in great conversations...but that's the extent of my support for the movement.
One thought I offered was in the "Idea Jam" session during my table's discussion about B Corp. I shared my belief that for social finance to progress, there needs to be a serious demand for it, a critical mass of organizations that require blended value investors. And what sort of organizations require impact investment? Well, organizations like B Corps, and other social-purpose businesses.
So I see a real need for a B Corp marketplace to develop in Canada. And the question you may ask is, "what's stopping us from having more certified B Corporations right now??"
I think it's time to strategize beyond the bubble of our social finance community - it's the only way we're going to achieve that critical mass. Maybe its a symbol we add to our business cards and email signatures. If we make the B Corp brand an intrinsic part of our professional profiles and share the amazing successes it's having in the US, we'll get more questions.
I welcome your disagreements and suggestions for tangible ways to make a difference. I commend the Social Finance Forum crew for a job well done, and I am patiently waiting for the movement to hit its next milestone, whenever that maybe be.
Happy new year!