Finance and Investment for a People-Centred Economy

National Summit on a People-Centred Economy

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Jessica Notwell and Joanna Reynolds

Year: 2010


This paper outlines current social finance and investment in the social economy followed by identification of opportunities and challenges for the social finance marketplace in Canada.   In the Social Finance Debrief by Causeway, the stage is set to provide a clear understanding of social finance sector and the current legal and financial obstacles for social enterprises.  In Financing Quebec’s Social Economy, Goldsborough highlights success of the Responsible Investment sector – a comprehensive finance sector that supports the growth and development of the social economy in Quebec.  This paper also highlights innovative community investment models that are supporting social economy activity leading to significant job creation and economic growth.  This includes investment in social infrastructure not only as a viable economic alternative to solely investing in traditional infrastructure, but a critical investment in job creation, a powerful economic engine in Canada, and a driver of future economic growth.

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From May 30 to June 1, 2010, the National Summit on a People-Centred Economy was an unprecedented gathering of leaders and representatives of the community economic development, cooperative and social economy sectors to build a common agenda and mobilize action for a secure, sustainable economy that puts people and the planet first.  The Summit sought to mobilize networks and organizations by building on the best research, agreeing on a common action plan, and increasing awareness of this sector among politicians, policy makers, non-governmental sector leaders and the mainstream media.

As part of the preparatory process for the Summit, six issue papers were drafted on themes which outline the key strengths, challenges and proposals for action to further reinforce this movement.  These issue papers were subject to an engagement and outreach process for feedback and revisions by Summit participants and other stakeholders between March 1 and May 15.  The revised papers were presented at the Summit, where a common declaration and action plan were developed.

To view the latest versions of the other papers and for more information on the Summit, visit: