Over the past six months, I have had the privilege of leading the implementation of this year’s Social Finance Awards. In this time, I have had the opportunity to support sharing the stories of landscape changing initiatives doing incredible work across Canada.

After much excitement, (and constant checking of the latest voting results), on Thursday night we announced the winners of the 2013 Social Finance Awards.

There is something so special about being able to take the time to recognize the efforts of the trailblazing leaders catalyzing the social finance landscape across Canada – so without further ado, here are the winners!

Social Finance Innovator Award – “Most Promising Collaboration” in Canada

The Social Finance Innovator Award is an annual people’s choice award presented to trailblazing innovators in the Canadian social finance landscape based on a theme selected by SocialFinance.ca

WinnerRise Asset Development

Rise Asset Development is a public-private partnership that provides microfinancing and mentorship to entrepreneurs living with mental illness and addictions. The Rotman School of Management and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) were the founding partners of this social finance collaboration. By leveraging collaboration as a tool for scaling, Rise has grown to three cities, and looks forward to expanding to many more in the future.


Runner-up – Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund

The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund (or Catapult for short) brings government, business and a nonprofit together to support intrepid change makers working across sectors from farming to finance and everything in between. The Centre for Social Innovation, an established leader with a strong reputation in the social innovation space, has partnered with Province of Ontario, Alterna Savings, Microsoft Canada, TD Bank Group, KPMG and Social Capital Partners to implement this first-of-its-kind program. It is the unique set of investors that have mobilized to support Catapult that makes this such an exciting and promising model for future impact funds and microloan programs.

Second Runner-upSarona Asset Management Emerging Market Fund-of-Fund Program

Recently, Sarona launched a new impact fund of funds program focused on investing growth equity in companies infused with progressive social and/or environmental values in emerging markets. The partners on this initiative include MEDA, a Canadian non-profit organization, the Canadian government, OPIC, the US government’s development financial institution, the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and a number of limited partners.

Social Finance Excellence Awards

A series of awards recognizing players who have demonstrated a strong commitment to building the social finance sector in Canada.  The winner of each award will be determined by SocialFinance.ca based nominated organizations and a predetermined set of data-based criteria.

Excellence in Community Development: awarded to a financial player (fund, community development financial institution, credit union, etc.), that has made a significant impact in community development through the deployment of capital in impact investments.

Vancity Credit Union

Excellence in Mission Investing: awarded to a foundation which has demonstrated a strong commitment to achieving the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance recommendation of capital deployment to mission related investments 

Edmonton Community Foundation

 Excellence in Sector Talent-Building: awarded to a Canadian educational institution which has demonstrated a commitment to developing new sector talent and expertise through offerings in social finance

Schulich School of Business at York University

The Awards do not with these announcements, however. Throughout the year we have the opportunity to continue highlighting and sharing the stories of all the nominees. We look forward to following their success in the coming year!