The Social Procurement Intermediary: The State of the Art and its Development within the GTHA

Social Enterprise Toronto and the Learning Enrichment Foundation

Author +
Cameron Revington, Robyn Hoogendam, and Andrew Holeton

Year: 2015

Social procurement is a process that targets social impact as a desired or required quality in goods or services to be purchased. It is commonly practiced by individuals, businesses and governments around the world. Less understood, especially in Canada, is the potential of social procurement to effect positive change in communities and vulnerable populations.

This paper investigates a means of unleashing this potential in one area: by connecting the purchasing power of businesses, governments and nonprofit organizations with the productivity of social enterprises in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). In particular, the presence of a social procurement intermediary – a broker or matchmaker between suppliers and purchasers – could greatly benefit both these parties, and the wider community.

It is the recommendation of this report that the social enterprise sector, in collaboration with others, takes the lead to establish a fully functioning social procurement intermediary in the GTHA.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Methodology
3.0 Key Concepts
4.0 Social Procurement Around the Globe: An International Movement
4.1 The United Nations and Sustainable Public Procurement
4.2 United States
4.3 United Kingdom (UK)
4.4 Wales
4.5 Scotland
4.6 Australia
5.0 Social Procurement At Home: Canadian Progress
5.1 Federal
5.2 Provincial
5.3 Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) Region
5.4 Toronto
6.0 Unlocking Potential: The Role & Structure of a Social Procurement Intermediary
6.1 Matchmaking & Connections
6.2 Supplier Accreditation
6.3 Capacity Building & Technical Expertise
6.4 Advocacy & Awareness
6.5 Tracking & Measuring Impact
6.6 Revenue & Sustainability Model
6.7 Governance and Ownership
7.0 Social Procurement Challenges & Recommendations
7.1 No Single Driving Force
7.2 Legislation
7.3 Time & Commitment
7.4 Sector Capacity
7.5 Ensuring Certified Social Enterprises Have Social Impact
7.6 Scaling up
7.7 Sustainability & Election Proofing
7.8 Recommendations for a Social Procurement Intermediary
8.0 Conclusion
9.0 Reference List
10.0 Further Reading
11.0 Appendices
11.1 Appendix A: List of Interview questions
11.2 Appendix B: List of Sector Experts interviewed