Investment Readiness Program
The Canadian Women’s Foundation is no longer accepting proposals for the Investment Readiness Program Pilot (2019-2021).
If you want to learn more about social finance and the initiatives funded, please consult the information below. You can also sign up to our newsletter for upcoming announcements.
In total, we funded 41 organizations across 3 cycles of this 2-year funding program with each organization funded up to a maximum of $50,000.
Background On The Investment Readiness Program
As one of the partners in the Investment Readiness Program announced by the Federal Government in June 2019, the Canadian Women’s Foundation will receive $3 million over two years to help social purpose organizations become investment ready to access the new Social Finance Fund, which will be launched in 2020.
The Foundation believes that promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as the growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises helps women develop greater economic prosperity. With more knowledge and experience in the use of social finance mechanisms and tools, the women’s sector will be better able to support these enterprises.
Through the Investment Readiness Program funding, the Foundation aims to boost women’s sector participation in social innovation and social finance. This is especially important for organizations that serve women who face multiple barriers and are underrepresented in this field.
More information on the Investment Readiness Program.
The Foundation will support and encourage the growth and readiness of women-serving organizations to join the social innovation and social finance ecosystem. This may include support to social purpose organizations that currently do not consider themselves part of that ecosystem. The Foundation seeks to prioritize funding to organizations that reach women who face multiple barriers, in communities where the needs are greatest.
Through the Investment Readiness Funding, we aim to:
- Increase the number and variety of groups engaged in the social finance ecosystem
- Build awareness
- Enhance capacity
- Increase accessibility to expert advice and information
- Contribute to learning on what works
- Apply a gender lens throughout using GBA+
Our Impact and Learnings
We invested $2 million in 41 diverse women and gender-diverse led and serving social purpose organizations (SPOs) across Canada presenting at all stages of investment readiness. Through our investments, organizations:
- increased their knowledge of and linkages to social enterprise and social finance supports and actors;
- built stronger more resilient organizations;
- grew their capacity for enterprise development, financial management and impact measurement;
- demonstrated significant progress along the investment readiness continuum.
Our funded initiatives will continue to place a high degree of importance on pursuing social innovation in the coming years:
- 95% of SPOs are interested in receiving additional non-repayable capital funding
- 77% of SPOs are interested in receiving repayable capital funding through the Social Finance Fund
Through our capacity building activities and partnerships, almost all Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs) (97%) increased their knowledge of social finance. They have a better understanding of the actors in the social finance and social innovation ecosystem, and how and when to reach out to them.
To share our learnings and best practices, we’ve developed the following resources:
This tool was adapted from the Canadian Social Enterprise Guide, the S4ES Investment Readiness online tool, and the Innoweave Social Investment Readiness checklist.
FOR FURTHER ASSISTANCE:
If you have further questions, please contact us:
Sagal Dualeh (ext. 221)
Director, Investment Readiness
The Investment Readiness Program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Innovation/Social Finance Strategy.