Funding awarded to local organizations and businesses to grow their positive impact on Vancouver Island through social enterprise

VICTORIA, B.C. — The Victoria Foundation has awarded $525,000 in funding to 18 organizations as part of the Investment Readiness Program.

The Investment Readiness Program supports social purpose organizations as they contribute to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges across Canada. This nationwide $50 million renewed investment, funded by the Government of Canada, supports various organizations working to strengthen Canada’s social finance market while supporting their communities. Coast Capital also provided $105,900 of funding to support the program on Vancouver Island.

“It is inspiring to see social purpose organizations working to create a vibrant, caring community for all,” says Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO. “The Investment Readiness Program is one step in strengthening community well-being across Vancouver Island.”

The Victoria Foundation received a high volume of applications for the highly competitive program. This funding will support projects including:

  • $25,000 to the Food Share Network for Setting the Table, to help make nourishing food universally accessible in the region’s schools.
  • $25,000 to the Victoria Native Friendship Centre for marketing the Cowichan Sweater, so they can tell their local, culturally based authentic Indigenous retail story.
  • $20,500 to Bike Victoria Society – DBA Capital Bike, which provides cycling-focused educational services. The funding will help build a marketing strategy and program assets that will prepare them for social finance investment.

“The IRP is really unique in that it allows us to invest in one of our most important programs: our community cycling skills training,” says Adam Krupper, executive director at Capital Bike. “For years, we’ve wanted to build this program to be in a position to partner with larger organizations. These partnerships would help us scale our cycling training program to reach more people by developing new curricula and programming, and to help make cycling a safe and easy activity for more people in the Capital Region.”

The Investment Readiness Program was open to a diverse range of organizations and businesses, including charities, non-profits, co-ops and social enterprises. The program provided up to $75,000 to create, manage and expand social enterprises in order to get ready to accept investment.

“From coast to coast to coast, social purpose organizations are showcasing bold leadership and rethinking how revenue generation can work alongside increasing community impact,” says Andrea Dicks, President of Community Foundations of Canada. “We continue to be inspired by the creativity and solutions that strengthen the resilience of the charitable sector while taking on tough social challenges.”

The Investment Readiness Program will help social enterprises across Canada grow, and build their capacity to accept investors, and participate in Canada’s growing social finance market. Since 2019, the Victoria Foundation has been the program’s Vancouver Island and Gulf Island lead.

Click here for a full list of recipients.