Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, September 19, 2013 – Ontario Brings Together Investors and Socially-Minded Businesses: Ontario is partnering with MaRS Discovery District to launch Social Venture Connexion (SVX). Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, rang the bell to open the stock market today to celebrate the SVX which will connect investors with businesses and organizations that focus on making positive social and environmental impacts.
Ontario has already strengthened the social enterprise industry in the province by:
- Creating an Office for Social Enterprise to promote partnerships with the private, not-for-profit and public sectors by coordinating and expanding the tools available to social entrepreneurs across Ontario.
- Launching the Ontario Catapult Micro-loan Fund as a pilot program to support early stage social enterprises by providing them with access to capital, services and programs.
- Investing in SiG@MaRS, a program that supports social entrepreneurs at all stages to help develop and deliver programs that accelerate the growth of social enterprises.
By launching the new SVX, Ontario is positioning itself to become the leading place in North America for social enterprise. The province is also creating a strong business climate, one of the three pillars of the government’s economic plan for jobs and growth.
- SVX received funding from the province for its feasibility study and pilot project completed in 2010.
- SVX is the first platform of its kind in North America and was created in collaboration with a number of private and community partners, including TMX Group. The SVX platform has a goal to see $2.5 million in its first year of operations and to support at least 10 social ventures.
- Social enterprises are businesses that have a positive social, cultural, or environmental impact while generating revenue.
- Ontario already has about 10,000 social enterprises and estimated to employ 160,000 people.
- Social enterprises serve 3.4 million unique customers per year.
- St. John’s Bakery in Toronto, an example of a social enterprise, produces artisanal breads and sweets while providing training and employment to people who face challenges such as addiction, poverty or mental health issues.