The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing is thrilled to announce the launch of a new Place-Based Social Finance Network. This network brings together leaders in cities and towns across Canada who are creating new social finance funds, financial products or strategies to mobilize capital to meet the challenges their communities face.
The group kicked off in February 2015 with representatives of cross-sectoral collaborations in cities from coast to coast:
Place-based social finance is an approach to mobilizing private capital that intends to create financial returns for investors and also social or environmental benefits for a city or town.
Place-based social finance incorporates a range of activities, including exploring the local potential for social finance, creating an impact investing fund, building an impact investing platform, or creating an investment product.
Place-based social finance projects are initiated by a range of actors: municipal governments, foundations or philanthropists, local businesses and/or community groups.
Cities and towns need to mobilize new sources of capital to meet the challenges they face, and social finance is an important tool. Here are some of the many reasons why we believe place-based social finance deserves attention.
We view this network as a natural extension of our Community Finance Solutions initiative. Through Community Finance Solutions, we have provided advisory support to 25 projects across the country that are creating new social finance funds, products and strategies. We have observed that place-based initiatives face common challenges and would benefit from dedicated support and networking. The founding members of the network are at different stages of development, and those that are more advanced can support those just starting down this path.
If you are involved in a cross-sectoral collaboration considering building a social finance fund, financial product or strategy on your city, please contact Katie Gibson, Manager, Community Finance Solutions. We can discuss how you can join the network and receive capital advisory support from the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. We are happy to speak with leaders from across the public, private and community sectors.