Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario (CCO) is releasing an important new contribution to the social finance ecosystem, in partnership with CCEDNet. They have surveyed the status and prospects of participatory community investment practices in Ontario. This new report includes analysis of the current ecosystem for this promising model in the province, as well as examining the current regulatory landscape, with comparisons to other jurisdictions in Canada.
“Community Investment Organizations … effectively bridge the gap between local investors and local ventures in need of financing. CIOs create cost-effective, community-owned, and controlled impact funds. The longer a dollar can circulate within a community, the greater its multiplier effect will be. In other words, when local money is invested in local projects and people, it stays in the community in the form of wages, rents, and local purchases – thereby increasing its impact on a community’s economic development many times over. CIOs are tangible measures that provide flexible and local capital from community members for priorities that are community led.”
Based on this fulsome analysis, the report makes recommendations which are broken down by different groups. For instance, they recommend that interested investors need to be patient but also committed to raising issues of importance that might benefit from community investment. And government regulators could create a more enabling environment through simplifying the offering statement process or incentivizing investors by making these types of investments RRSP eligible or creating other tax credits.
Alongside this report, they are also launching the Ontario Community Investment Organization Start-Up Guide, adapted from the original created in British Columbia. This is an important step forward in building the capacity of the Ontario ecosystem to support community-led investing models.
To find out more about this Ontario report or seek support for an Ontario based CIO idea, contact report author and CCO team member Édouard Sylvestre at edouard.sylvestre (at) cco.coop.
This project has been completed in partnership with the Ontario Trillium Foundation. It also connects to CCEDNet’s work during the recently completed federal Investment Readiness Program. As part of that program, we brought together leaders interested in CIO models from various regions across the country to explore what’s needed to strengthen and raise the profile of these community-owned and -led models in the emerging social finance landscape.
To find out more about CCEDNet’s work on CIO’s or the Investment Readiness Program, contact Sarah Leeson-Klym at sleesonklym (at) ccednet-rcdec.ca