Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Thursday that Ontario will provide funding to 11 organizations that support early-stage social enterprises across the province. These 11 organizations will provide loans or grants to help these types of social enterprises start or grow their businesses.
“The social and economic aspects of our government’s plan are interconnected. A society where everyone has the opportunity to contribute in a positive way is the foundation of our future prosperity” says Wynne.
A social enterprise is a venture that uses business strategies to drive social, environmental, and economic change.
“This new social finance fund will help connect high-potential, early-stage social enterprises with the capital they need to grow and create jobs. It will also help position Ontario as a global impact investment leader” says Brad Duguid, the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
Ontario’s $4 million contribution is expected to leverage more than $6 million in investment from other sources, including the private sector.
Growing the province’ social enterprise sector is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan includes investing people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic and supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
Sustainable social enterprises provide jobs for youth, women, newcomers, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and those with mental health or addiction challenges. Ontario currently has about 10,000 social enterprises that employ an estimated 160,000 people.
“We’re proud to invest in savvy entrepreneurs who will improve life for people in Ontario, while driving economic growth and creating jobs” says Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Over the next decade, the global social finance market is expected to generate up to $1 trillion in new impact investment capital.