In July 2020 community leaders from the social finance, social economy, co-operative and community economic development movements in Canada came together in solidarity to confront and mitigate apathy towards inclusion, diversity, equity and access in the aforementioned ecosystems.
On July 20th 2020, a joint statement entitled ‘Stronger Together’ was endorsed by stakeholders across the aforementioned ecosystems and disseminated widely throughout collective networks across Canada. The statement articulated six key actions:
- Creation of a standing meeting/working group in the social enterprise and social finance ecosystem, to work towards advancing inclusion, diversity, equity, and access
- Development of performance indicators as well as tools for measuring this work that we believe should become standard for all IRP/SFF and future program partners, regardless of their areas of focus.
- Development of anti-racism and anti-oppression training that we recommend become standard for all IRP/SFF and future program partners. To begin this, we’ll source a list of strong anti-racist educators from BIPOC communities to facilitate this work.
- Diversity & Inclusion policy promotion and development amongst Investment Readiness Program partners and wider ecosystem stakeholders within their respective organizations
- Development and implementation of an intermediary specifically for the African Canadian community in the Social Finance Fund. This should be complemented by a standard commitment and enforceable performance measures for all intermediaries to engage with diverse communities
- Collaboration towards the development of a self-determined fund to engage traditionally under- represented people living in Canada in the social finance and social enterprise ecosystem through small catalyst grants and non-repayable loans.