Social enterprises and mission-based businesses have been able to extend their reach into communities even more thanks to Vancity’s Resilient Capital Program.
The $17.1 billion credit union in Vancouver, British Columbia, and its Vancouver Foundation launched the program in 2011 with the support of the British Columbia government.
To date, the program has collaborated with more than 20 institutional and individual depositors who together have contributed about $13.5 million in Resilient Capital Term Deposits, according to Vancity.
As of July 2013, the Resilient Capital program has provided $4 million in financing to 11 enterprises that are addressing social and environmental challenges and building resilient communities, Vancity said.
"We know social enterprises are key to economic development. We've seen incredible growth in the sector over the past few years, there's been a demand and an unmet need, and we've been able to bridge that gap," said Tamara Vrooman, president/CEO of Vancity.
The financing Vancity has provided to a broad range of social enterprises has increased by more than 150%, Vrooman noted.
“We have many examples demonstrating that by supporting social enterprises with a proven business model it definitely adds to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of our communities,” Vrooman said.
Vancity has $6 million in financing currently available through the Resilient Capital program to support qualified social enterprises that have a proven business model to help move them through the next stage of their growth, Vrooman said.
Overall, Vancity said its financing of social enterprise ventures has grown to $9 million in 2012 from $3.7 million in 2011.
Vancity was recognized for its commitment to social enterprise development with the National Credit Union Community Economic Development Award for its Resilient Capital Program by Credit Union Central of Canada at the World Council of Credit Unions Conference, which took place July 14-17 in Ottawa, Ontario.