Communities are increasingly looking for new sources of capital and ways to unlock existing ones so that they can be put toward community needs, like affordable housing, renewable energy, food system development, job creation and local business development and more. Community-sourced capital projects are an important part of a new movement for social finance that is taking off in Canada and across the world. Social finance is an approach to raising capital and investing that focuses on creating a strong social return to our communities, as well as a financial one.
This guide has been developed based on research and the experience creating a Community Investment Fund on Vancouver Island. This is a new area of work for many communities, organizations and volunteers and the process of starting up your own community sourced financing vehicle is challenging and complex. This guide is meant to help ease the process and provide a starting point for other communities throughout BC and elsewhere that are interested in developing their own community-sourced financing tools.
INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT
Social, Green and Community Enterprise
Demand for Local Investing Opportunities
Examples of Financing Innovations for Affordable Housing and Community Real Estate Assets from Across Canada
• Community Investment Funds in Action: New Dawn Enterprises – Nova Scotia
• Edmonton Social Enterprise Fund – Alberta
• Ethical Investment: The Jubliee Fund – Manitoba
• Innovative Financing: Muttart Foundation and Toronto YMCA – Alberta and Ontario
• Regional Housing Trust Fund – British Columbia
Overview of Process
Assessing Community Need
Assessing the Opportunities
Targeting the Right Scale and Managing Scope Creep
Building Your Team
OUR MODEL: A COMMUNITY INVESTMENT CO-OP
Identifying the Project(s)
Creating the Investment Opportunity
Why a Co-operative?
What is a Co-operative?
Co-operatives and Capital
UNDERSTANDING THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
BC Co-operative Association Act
Co-op Investment Shares and RRSP Eligibility
Limits on Shares Held by an Individual or Related Party
Certifying Your Investment Shares
Exemptions to the Full Prospectus Requirement
What Does All of This Mean for Your Project?
The Offering Memorandum Exemption
What is an Offering Memorandum?
Offering Memorandum Limitations
SELLING THE OPPORTUNITY
Administering the Shares
BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR COMMUNITY CAPITAL