According to CCINC, a conservative demand by community investment organizations surveyed in the study is $750 million over two years. Growth opportunities that were identified included; business succession; social enterprise, including buyouts and conversion to co-operatives; housing development; and community owned energy. Early results from a financing demand study in Atlantic Canada by the Social Economy Research Network suggest the average social enterprise requires a minimum of $500,000 for expansion of programs and services including investing in housing.
Some of the common barriers faced by community investment organizations to finance projects include; lack of operational resources to enable deal flows; the need for training and capacity by project proponents; and rising costs of construction making it tougher and tougher to build affordable housing.
It is clear that community investment is growing in Canada and that there is continued demand for financing. How will we ensure its growth?