MaRS Centre for Impact Investing launches new Community Finance Solutions

MaRS Centre for Impact Investing launches new Community Finance Solutions

The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of its newest initiative: Community Finance Solutions.

Community Finance Solutions provides expert advisory support to high-potential initiatives creating new impact investing funds and financial products. We envision a vibrant marketplace of effective impact-investing funds and innovative financial products in communities across Canada, pooling and placing capital to create social and environmental impact.

The national launch will take place on Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 12:00 p.m. EST via webinar. Titled Creating Funds for Social and Environmental Impact, the event will provide an insider’s view on developing a new impact-investing fund. I’ll be moderating the webinar on behalf of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, and it will feature the following speakers:

National advisors

An esteemed group of impact-investing thought leaders and practitioners across the country provide strategic oversight to the program and are involved in identifying and vetting clients.

Who is eligible for support?

Our clients are individuals and organizations located across Canada who are working to launch new impact-investing funds or innovative financial products. Please see our online application for more details.

Community Finance Solutions could support the following types of initiatives:

  • the creation of an investment fund focusing on First Nations communities, affordable housing, sustainable food and water or renewable energy;
  • the development of a community loan fund for local businesses;
  • the creation of a blended philanthropic and investment fund to finance projects with a social mission;
  • the issuance of a community bond to finance an infrastructure project; or
  • a variety of other impact-investing funds and products that meet our established criteria.

How will Community Finance Solutions support clients?

Our team and partners offer a range of expert advisory supports, including legal structuring, financial modelling, tax advising, investor relations, communications, impact measurement, research, policy advising and other strategic supports.

  • Early-stage initiatives will receive a package of 20 hours of advisory supports and six months of coaching. We will plug them into a network of experts, peers and coaches to help them refine, test and launch their initiatives.
  • Later-stage initiatives with the potential to launch within a year will receive tailored wrap-around support. Our flexible partnership will give them the supports they need when they need them to bring their initiatives to market.

Why create Community Finance Solutions?

In order to advance Canada’s impact-investing marketplace, we need to create an enabling regulatory environment, investment-ready ventures and mechanisms to mobilize private capital.

There is a major gap in the marketplace that inhibits investors’ abilities to finance social ventures. We do not have the right mechanisms for pooling and placing impact capital: funds and financial products. Capital can only be mobilized for impact if we establish clear financial pathways via accessible, effective and understandable products and funds for Canadian impact investors. These funds and financial products cannot develop effectively and at scale in Canada without resources and expertise dedicated to support this work.

There is an opportunity to match market demand and a need for support with the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing’s networks, knowledge and experience in developing financial innovations in impact investing.

Community Finance Solutions is generously supported by our partners Hill+Knowlton StrategiesKPMGMiller Thomson LLPRBC and TMX Group.

Register today!

For more information, or if you have further questions about Community Finance Solutions, please feel free to contact me at

We hope you will join us on March 6 to learn more! Register at!

Feature photo credit: In this together by marciecasas, used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped