Eleven local organizations have received a financial boost for revenue-generating projects ranging from supportive housing to nature-based education to an Indigenous arts initiative.
Highlighting the many possibilities of social enterprise – providing a service or product to earn revenue, while also achieving positive social, cultural or environmental results – the charities, nonprofits and for-profit businesses all received Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program grants to move their projects forward.
Distributed by Community Foundations of Canada partners across the country, including the Victoria Foundation, the grants will help launch, design, measure and scale their social enterprise and prepare to access investment in Canada’s growing social finance marketplace.
- Canadian Mental Health Association Port Alberni – $25,000 to explore delivery of 35 to 42 units of supportive, affordable community housing plus office/commercial space in Port Alberni.
- Habitat for Humanity Victoria – $30,000 to analyze ReStore operations and recommend ways to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and attain higher sustainable profitability.
- Galiano Conservancy Association – $18,000 for website enhancements and online store creation for Millard Learning Centre, a 188-acre destination for nature-based education and a net-zero carbon renewable energy demonstration facility.
- Victoria Native Friendship Centre – $25,000 to develop a business plan for two downtown Victoria Indigenous arts retail stores, including philanthropic donation of one of the properties.
- HeroWork – $30,000 to replicate the business through a corporate social franchise model that includes hiring contractors to iterate the brand and platforms for expansion.
- Westcoast Community Resources Society – $30,000 to the Biosphere Centre for design, planning and consultation for a social enterprise providing much-needed offices, meeting space and housing in the Clayoquot Sound region.
- Habitat Acquisition Trust – $25,000 to gather crutial information to co-develop social enterprises for a local First Nation to derive conservation-based revenue, supporting the creation of an Indigenous Protected Area.
- The Mustard Seed Street Church – $24,500 to support enterprise building work in their food distribution centre.
- Scale Collaborative – $30,000 to the THRIVE (aka Thriving Non-Profits) program, which builds the capacity of social purpose organizations, to help scale the program to new communities.
- Unbuilders Deconstruction – $30,000 to expand their de-construction/recycling service to Vancouver Island, deconstructing and salvaging heritage lumber that is otherwise landfilled.
- INEO Employment Counselling Inc. – $12,500 to Recycle Matters, which recycles mattresses, keeping them from the landfill, by employing and training individuals who experience barriers to employment.
Applications for the second and final round of funding for CFC’s IRP program will be accepted from Sept. 8 through Oct. 9. For more program and eligibility information, visit the national website.
Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds, with proceeds distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes.