Catalyst: A Place Based Impact Investing Convening for Ontario


Our province is grappling with different approaches to recovery and resilience. Federal policy makers are examining potential solutions with a social finance and social enterprise approach. As a sector, we are seeking opportunities to act together in providing capital and capacity support to organizations and enterprises that can lead recovery and regeneration efforts at a local level.

We are proposing a convening between Ontario’s place based impact investing stakeholders to catalyze action.  

Join us on October 26, 28, and 30 to SEE, LEARN and CATALYZE.

As we shape our individual and sector responses, we need to share and learn from one another, to learn from sector leaders outside Ontario, and to discuss the role of social finance approaches in driving a regenerative recovery.  

Together, we will connect current and emerging place-based impact investing funders and intermediaries across Ontario with the following objectives: 

  • Examine Canadian and US models for place-based investing;

  • Identify opportunities for collaboration, recommendations for policy interventions, and barriers to start or scale place-based funds; and

  • Provide insight on the experience of Ontario place-based funds to help advance our Impact Response Action Agenda #3, which includes scaling our system of community capital institutions, modelled on similar frameworks in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

We recognize our community is diverse, we are urban and rural, we are place-based and policy advocates, we are gendered and racialized, we are experts and facilitators, we are all coming from different perspectives, with a common goal to support our local communities.

We propose a three (3) part convening in the following progression:  SEE each other, provide opportunity to LEARN specific models, and CATALYZE us to move towards action. Each session will be 2 hours and hosted on Zoom.

October 26th, 1-3pm EST

Intention: 10 organizations will do a 3 minute ‘show & share’ presentation providing an overview of Ontario and Canada/US place based impact investing models, equally. Each round of presentations will be followed by a Q&A then breakout rooms with speakers.   

Impact: Generating awareness of what is already happening, we can leverage our strengths to inform where we’re headed.


October 28th, 1-3pm EST  

IntentionWe have selected speakers to provide deeper analysis of impact investing in the following themes: “What can we learn from America’s journey?” + “How do we engage government, investors and philanthropists right now?” + “How do we amplify diversity, equity and inclusion without replicating the same oppressive systems?”  

Each panel will be followed by small group discussions with panelists to begin surfacing ideas for infrastructure and innovation that meet our needs. Our panelists include:

Nonprofit Finance Fund: Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and nonprofit lender with 40 years of national and hyperlocal experience helping mission-driven organizations.

Community Futures Ontario: Representing 61 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) that offer business counselling, loans for start-up and expansion of small business and community economic development.

Social Economy through Social Inclusion: Engaging under-represented communities with an aim to co-create a social economy ecosystem that reflects the diverse genders, races, cultures, orientations, and perspectives.

Marigold Capital: Envisioning a world with decreased gender-based violence and sexism, racial prejudice and xenophobia, class and status, and exploitative business practices by funding a community of founders and companies.

Impact: Our community will have an in-depth understanding of how specific models that have successfully been implemented and scaled can be applied in our local context. 


October 30th, 1-3pm EST

Intention: To take our gathering toward actions, we have enlisted the support of the funder community to act as facilitators in our collective journey to debrief, integrate our learnings, and catalyze actions towards the development of community capital institutions and other emerging areas of collaboration.
We will weave reconciliation into our approach with support from Raven Capital, an Indigenous investor in Indigenous social enterprises with a purpose to facilitate the flow of capital through impact investing.  The Raven is central to rebirth and transformation in Indigenous cultures.

Impact: Our community is able to identify which models, interventions and policies we will prioritize towards action, and who will lead each effort.


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