ECF expands its social impact lending reach

Edmonton Community Foundation CEO Martin Garber-Conrad has announced ECF’s  expanded commitment to social impact investing through the creation of the Alberta Social Enterprise Venture Fund.  He made the announcement on 4 October at the Social Enterprise World Forum in Calgary.

This investment structure will strengthen ECF’s response to the challenge from the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance to Canadian foundations to invest at least ten percent of their capital in mission-related investments by 2020.  ECF was an ‘early adopter’ amongst community foundations to formally commit to meeting this target.

The new Venture Fund will be added to funds currently delivered through the Social Enterprise Fund, (SEF),  launched in 2008 through a partnership with the City of Edmonton.  Since its inception, the Social Enterprise Fund has placed just over $8 million with more than twenty organizations working in all sectors of the community, supporting those groups in their efforts to make Edmonton a stronger, more caring community.

The Venture Fund will allow for other important improvements to the role that SEF can play in social impact investing.   Social entrepreneurs from across Alberta, regardless of corporate structure, will be eligible for loans.

The new structure also permits other social impact investors who wish to join ECF in this important work place their money with the Venture Fund, where it can be effectively invested with returns that are not only financial, but that can change lives, communities and the world.