In this newsletter:
- Investing in our community- together! REGISTER for this Friday’s event at Meaford Hall!
- Achieving Sustainability through a Greener Economy event- a huge success!
- The role of Community Foundation Grey Bruce in the landscape of social entrepreneurship.
Investing in Our Community – Together!
By Jen Armstrong, Institute Design Team member, Southern Georgian Bay Affordable Housing Toolkit
We are looking forward to the upcoming collaborative event hosted by The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay on November 17th. New Ways to Finance the Housing Affordability Gap: Ensuring the Sustainability of our Towns, will provide opportunity to:
- discuss the current market housing shortage,
- learn how other municipalities are using social finance to close the housing affordability gap,
- give us an opportunity to network to create regional initiatives and strategy for utilizing social finance options that provide both social and economic returns at the community investment level.
We are excited that so many people will come together to hear about ways that communities across our country are financing and building available housing to address the needs of moderate-income renters living and working in these areas. We will hear from representatives from organizations across our country and learn how they are helping to bring the rental costs down to affordable rates, for workers in their communities.
I’m very interested in learning how organizations are funding the purchase and development of affordable housing through community bonds and REITs. We can explore ways of bringing similar community investment models into our communities which would benefit many residents, businesses and other organizations.
Please join us on November 17th for this exciting community event where we can discuss, learn and network at New Ways to Finance the Housing Affordability Gap: Ensuring the Sustainability of our Towns. There are just a few seats remaining!
Achieving Sustainability through a Green Economy was a huge success!
By Eric Ennis, TISGB Board Member and Nicholas Cloet, (Sustainability Coordinator, Town of the Blue Mountains
Achieving Sustainability through a Greener Economy was a huge success! Our heartfelt thanks go to our Design Team, highlighted in an earlier newsletter, and our partners and sponsors featured on our website homepage.
Over 70 attendees discussed existing tools, local governance efforts, and business successes that are making Southern Georgian Bay a hot spot for ensuring economic sustainability in a changing world. Our area will succeed with a triple bottom line focus (economic, social, and environmental benefits for our collective budget spending) and will be able to readily adapt to upcoming challenges.
Everyone enjoyed a gathering where participants could bring their own personal and professional perspectives to an integrated discussion, with themes on climate action, protecting and enhancing natural areas, running local businesses, and providing services for communities. While all the sectors represented do great work in their respective spaces, there is a desire to break down the silos that ultimately impede sustainability, which ensures a strong future.
“Stay in your lane and collaborate” is a memorable catchphrase that came up, which means that we need to harness the competencies, focus areas, and interests that already exist among individuals, the groups they represent, and those around them, while collaborating for greater impact.
Following excellent speaker presentations, the 10 breakout groups re-emphasized the need for continued education and collaboration on the sharing of ideas and successes to be supported by municipalities. Further, youth must be included so that they are ready to join the charge. Big ideas were discussed including regional metrics, green development standards, business sustainability certification, and new economic models.
The biggest audacious goal coming out of the event is the creation of a Green Economy Hub that could function as a rallying point around which people can continue working on agreed-upon goals and metrics. Stay tuned for progress on that community goal, look through the speaker presentations on our website, and read upcoming newsletters for the event video link!
Editors Note: If you are able, please support our programming, so that we can continue to present important events that are free for everyone to benefit from https://tisgb.com/joinus/.
The Role of Community Foundation Grey Bruce in the Landscape of Social Entrepreneurship.
By Jordie Burton, Business & Innovation Design Team Co-Lead
As one of over 200 community foundations serving people across Canada, Community Foundation Grey Bruce (CFGB) has participated in three rounds of the federally funded Investment Readiness Program, supporting social purpose organizations on their journey to seeking investment. Your local community foundation can be a great starting point for advice for social entrepreneurs trying to understand how to create the social impacts.
Vital Signs reports produced by community foundations can be a source of knowledge on community needs and priorities with which to align your statement of purpose, whether charitable or for-profit. The scope of social purpose organizations across Canada is vast, and plugging in your activities to a greater good, like the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, can help to articulate your organization’s theory of change. CFGB is a hub for a wide range of end user groups including non-profits, charities, as well as partnering agencies like Georgian College, Business for Bruce, Catapult and other business incubators across the region. This makes CFGB well situated as a knowledge centre fostering conversations and information around making social change.
The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay hosted a webinar series last year, moderated by CFGB executive director Stuart Reid, called “New Directions for Business: The Shift toward triple bottom lines” aligning purpose, value and profit for local entrepreneurs. Reid moderated a discussion with several local social entrepreneurs and offered some insight into the growing landscape of social purpose capital. Here is the recording of the webinar exploring social entrepreneurship in the region.
Social enterprise should be prepared for a major finance opportunity that the government is offering through the Social Finance fund. The federal government has created the social finance fund to invest capital into the social purpose sector as a form of impact investment. A great resource on this opportunity is the Community Foundations of Canada page for the Investment Readiness Program, which is a springboard to tip sheets, recordings and government sites.
A little about the Social Finance Fund from the Government of Canada website:
- “The Social Finance Fund (SFF) is a $755 million initiative that seeks to accelerate the growth of Canada’s social finance market.
- The SFF will support charities, non-profits, social enterprises, co-operatives and other social purpose organizations (SPOs) in accessing flexible financing opportunities. Greater access to social finance through the SFF will help them grow, innovate, and enhance their social and environmental impacts.”
Stuart Reid says, “Building community and wellbeing is a complex task that needs to engage a diverse range of partners from charities to business to social enterprise. With a clarified shared purpose of doing good locally, we can work together in innovative ways.” Visit www.communityfoundationgreybruce.com and sign up for CFGB’s newsletter to stay abreast of opportunities in the field of social enterprise.