An index by Thomson Reuters Foundation and Deutsche Bank ranks Canada first for access to impact investment and second overall as an environment for growing social enterprises

Social enterprises use business strategies to achieve measurable social and environmental impact, meaning that as their business grows, so does the contribution to developing the social fabric of the community and promoting the well-being of individuals and families.

According to a survey by Thomson Reuters Foundation and Deutsche Bank, social entrepreneurs in Canada benefit from one of the best environments in the world for starting and growing businesses aimed at producing a positive social impact.

The survey asked experts in 45 countries to gather opinions from more than 600 academics, social entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and support network staff to determine the state of conditions for supporting social entrepreneurship. Answers to the 14-question survey helped determine an assessment across six categories: government support, attracting skilled staff, public understanding, making a living, gaining momentum and ease of access to investment.

Canada claimed the top spot in three categories, including:

  • 1st for ease of access to investment (debt and/or equity)
  • 1st for ability for social entrepreneurs to make a living from the work
  • 1st for momentum of social entrepreneurship

Canadian social enterprises are connected to markets and capital to help them grow and scale

Canadian social enterprises benefit from the best access to investment in the world, ahead of Singapore, the U.S., Belgium and the Philippines, which rounded out the top five. In Ontario, social entrepreneurs benefit from The Social Venture ConneXion (The SVX), an impact-first platform led by MaRS and the TMX group, which connects social enterprises with impact funds and investors. With approximately 10,000 social enterprises in Ontario alone, social enterprises located here will play a key role in unlocking the estimated $2.5 billion in impact investing capital available in Canada.

Canada is the best place in the world for social entrepreneurs to make a living

With Canada ranking as the top location for access to social impact investment, including being among the best places to find grant funding, it's no wonder Canada is also the best place for social entrepreneurs to make a living. Ontario's social enterprises employ an average of 38 people while generating $1.2 million in revenues. Canada was one of only two G7 countries that ranked in the top ten in this category, the other being the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the U.S. finished 13th.

The momentum of social entrepreneurship in Canada is unmatched and growing

The U.S. and Singapore trail Canada as the social entrepreneurship hotspot gaining the most momentum. With a talented, highly skilled labour force and generous support from all levels of government, post-secondary institutions and research centres, Canadians are leveraging social entrepreneurship to find solutions to the world's most pressing social problems.

Learn more about why Ontario, Canada is the best place for social entrepreneurs


September 21, 2016
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