Canadian Community Investment Study

Posted by on November 7, 2003

[posted from Community Development Banking listserve]

Hello Community Development Banking listserve,

I’d like to update you on a Canadian initiative. From March to September 2003, the Social Investment Organization, a national non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of socially responsible investment in Canada, and the Riverdale Community Development Corporation, a local community economic development organization, conducted a national study of the current state of community investment programs in Canada with a view to learning how to expand the scale, size, sustainability, and effectiveness of community investing for Community Economic Development.

The five objectives of the study:
1. to identify barriers to growth of the community investment sector in Canada
2. to find ways that community investment funds can work together to benefit the Canadian sector as a whole
3. to learn from experiences organizing community finance and micro-enterprise networks in the USA and UK
4. to conduct an analysis of the feasibility of a national association and to lay out the next steps in creating a national association.

The Final Report of the Community Investment Study and other community investment information is now on the Social Investment Organization’s website. Please see

The study concluded that:

? Community investment is an important tool for building community capacity, revitalizing low-income neighbourhoods and reducing poverty.

? The community investment sector in Canada is vastly underdeveloped and under-funded compared with similar sectors in the US and Europe.

? Funding is needed for a strong community investment network to support development of the entire sector.

The advisory committee guiding the study has decided that we must put into place the building blocks for a national network or association over the next 8 months. Funding is required to complete a business plan, generate funds for the operation of the network, and plan and coordinate a launch event in May 2004.

Anyone interested in the Canadian community investment sector will find this study useful.

Please feel free to contact me about the study.

Susannah Cameron
Community Investment Study
Riverdale Community Development Corporation
(416) 462-0496 ex 41

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