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Steering Group Recommendations for a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy for Canada Released Today

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Steering Group Recommendations for a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy for Canada Released Today

Canada NewsWire

OTTAWA, Aug. 31, 2018 /CNW/ - Today the recommendations of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group were released publicly by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Ministers Jean-Yves Duclos and Patty Hajdu. The Steering Group represents a diverse range of perspectives from the community, philanthropic, financial, research and public sectors. The recommendations for a Strategy are the result of a cross-Canada engagement process that began in June 2017, conducted by the 17-person Steering Group appointed by ESDC. Detailed information about the twelve recommendations is available at www.sisfs.ca.

Today the recommendations of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group were released publicly by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Ministers Jean-Yves Duclos and Patty Hajdu. (CNW Group/McConnell Foundation)

"Canada has a long history of social innovation to improve outcomes for people" said Ajmal Sataar, President of Inspire Nunavut and former Steering Group Co-Chair. "By implementing the recommendations in this report, government can improve the ability for communities across Canada and across all sectors to engage in locally-driven social innovations to answer the collective challenges we face, such as poverty alleviation, food security, access to affordable housing, Indigenous reconciliation, action on climate change and economic inclusion. We are proposing an ecosystem approach, building on the incredible work already being done across the country."

Among the specific recommendations are the incorporation of social value into the Government's cohesive sustainable procurement plan as well as a Social Finance Fund to capitalise local, regional and sectoral initiatives. A growing number of countries are already embedding proven, sustainable models of similar measures nationally. For example, Portugal, Japan, UK and the European Union have established social finance funds, and social procurement initiatives have been tested by Scotland, France, Finland, and Australia to great effect.

"We need a comprehensive approach to tackle long-standing social and economic challenges," said Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO of Imagine Canada. "Charities and nonprofits have long been social innovators and entrepreneurs, and we're very pleased that the Steering Group has made recommendations that, if implemented, would help us increase the impact we have on the communities we serve."

The report's recommendations:

  1. Anchor commitment and long-term policy action toward social innovation and social finance in Canada through legislation
  2. Establish and fund a permanent multi-sectoral Social Innovation Council to advise the federal government
  3. Create a permanent Office for Social Innovation
  4. Improve social purpose organizations' access to federal innovation, business development and skills training programs
  5. Establish a multi-departmental Social Innovation Ecosystem Program
  6. Create a Social Finance Fund to capitalise local, regional, sectoral and national intermediaries
  7. Ensure federal funding practices support and enable social innovation
  8. Incorporate social procurement guidelines, tools and training opportunities into the Government's focus on a cohesive sustainable procurement plan
  9. Address the legal and regulatory issues impeding charities and non-profits from engaging in social innovation, social finance, and social enterprise
  10. Initiate a series of controlled regulatory experiments, or "sandboxes," to explore and experiment with new regulatory models
  11. Establish a Social Innovation Evidence Development and Knowledge Sharing Initiative
  12. Coordinate a national social innovation and social finance awareness campaign

Definitions

Social Innovation is a response to a social or environmental problem which, once adopted, results in better outcomes than existing approaches.

Social Finance refers to investments intended to create a measurable social or environmental impact as well as to generate financial returns.

Social Purpose Organizations includes the entire spectrum of those engaged in social purpose work. Including but not limited to: charities, non-profits, social enterprises, co-operatives, credit unions, foundations, and private business advancing social or environmental aims.

View the full report at www.sisfs.ca and the Government of Canada's webpage.

 

SOURCE McConnell Foundation

View original content with multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/August2018/31/c2277.html

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