Call to Action: It’s time for a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy

November 5, 2020

As a diverse nation of innovators, Canadians have a lot of potential to propel ourselves towards an equitable and sustainable recovery from COVID-19. That said, we still face some serious challenges. If we want better social, economic and environmental outcomes, the government needs to ‘do different,’ by rethinking the way social purpose organizations are supported. We need investment in social innovation and social finance.

In 2018, the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group released its report, Inclusive Innovation: New Ideas and New Partnerships for Stronger Communities. This comprehensive report contains 12 key recommendations that would help communities tackle their toughest social and environmental challenges through skill development, unlocking private capital, increasing market access, and regulatory changes. In other words – it would be a game changer!

Unblock Social Innovation, Empower Communities

The federal government has committed to developing a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy (SISF Strategy) and, in 2018, announced a $755M Social Finance Fund and $50M Investment Readiness Program. BUT, the Social Finance Fund has yet to be rolled out; after a very successful 2-year pilot, the Investment Readiness Program is set to expire in March 2021; and there has been little action on the remaining recommendations.

We have a window of opportunity to push the government to implement a comprehensive strategy, expand the Investment Readiness Program, and accelerate the Social Finance Fund. Over the spring and summer, several mobilizing efforts, including by the People-Centred Economy Group, Impact Response, the National Impact Investment Practitioners table, and others, have urged the federal government to accelerate SISF as part of COVID recovery. This is a critical moment for a concerted push for continued action by the federal government to ensure that SISF is part of budget 2021.


There are two options for action. The first will have more of an impact in this campaign and will help you build a long-term relationship with your MP.

Option 1: High Impact

  • Set up a virtual meeting or phone call with your MP.
  • Share these key messages with them and ask them to write to Minister Hussen and Minister Freeland asking for Social Enterprise, Social Innovation, and Social Finance to be central features in the Government of Canada’s post-COVID economic recovery.
  • Let us know how it went.

Option 2: Quick & Easy

Find out more