Social Enterprise Will Utilize IRP Funding to Grow.
[box] The Investment Readiness Program was created by the Government of Canada. As the Government of Canada explains: “The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) is a 2-year $50 million pilot program designed to help advance Social Innovation and Social Finance (SI/SF) in Canada by building on existing supports to help catalyze community-led solutions to persistent social and environmental challenges. The pilot will provide a learning opportunity to inform future direction on how best to support and mobilize the social finance sector.” Learn more here.
This blog series by the Trico Charitable Foundation spotlights successful grant recipients of the first IRP round of grants who reside in Alberta or have received the Social EnterPrize. The goal of this series is to help inspire, inform, and nurture the ability of social entrepreneurship to close the gaps in Canadian society. [/box]
Centre for Sexuality is a nationally recognized, community-based organization delivering programs and services that work to normalize sexuality and sexual health across the lifespan. They have been leading the way in the areas of sexuality, healthy relationships, human rights, gender identity, sexual orientation, equality and consent for more than 40 years in the Calgary community. Pam Krause, President and CEO of Centre for Sexuality, became aware of the IRP funding through the Calgary Foundation. Pam had been watching for it for some time as she knew it was exactly the program their organization needed to build out their social enterprise. Pam explains the three things they will be using their IRP funding for:
“We are conducting research to develop a scaling plan and to complete a market scan for our enterprise, we are completing a comprehensive business plan, and we are developing marketing and communications materials for identified customers.”
Pam and her team navigated through challenges in receiving funding pre- IRP:
“There has not been a great deal of funding available in the social enterprise space, particularly supporting enterprises to become investment ready. And registered charities with a social enterprise are in a unique position. We have even less access to funding that is focused on supporting start-up businesses. IRP funding is critical in putting everything in place to make our enterprise investment ready.”
Ultimately, Centre for Sexuality’s goal is to build their Training Centre into a sustainable business that generates a significant amount of revenue. Looking to the future, they have a vision to provide training and consulting services to customers throughout North America focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity in workplaces. Pam concludes:
“Social enterprise is key to our long-term sustainability. There is a market for our product, and we are focused on raising enough of our own revenue for some of our programming to be self sustaining, so we can be innovative and responsive to the needs of the communities we serve. We want to secure future investment to secure a market and scale our product.”