Nabeel Ahmed

FEATURED EVENT: Join the 2012 Social Finance Forum ‘Measuring Up’ Webcast

Impact investing has grown by leaps and bounds in Canada over the last few years, partly sparked by the work of trailblazers such as the Task Force on Social Finance. There are strong communities of practice across the country, and major financial players have stepped up, and not only expressed interest, but also demonstrated leadership as well.

It has been heartening to see this progress, but we are conscious that more needs to be done in order to see a flourishing impact investing market in Canada.

One of these challenges – that of measuring impact – is well known and remains a barrier in the growth of the industry. Especially in Canada, where there is no legal form for social enterprises, and where many nonprofits are adopting principles of social entrepreneurship, there are gaps in the understanding of capturing and valuing social impact metrics. As Viola Dessanti, senior policy and research analyst at Ontario Trillium Foundation, recently commented, “how can funders, investors and entrepreneurs come together towards a shared vision of what success looks like for social enterprise?”

Collaboration is also a particularly pressing challenge that is required to drive the development of the marketplace. One challenge in Canada is that initiatives are simply situated far apart and sometimes develop in isolation. (It’s no accident that the construction of a railway was part of the British North America Act that established the dominion of Canada).

Driving collaboration is a role that the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing <> plays well, as a regular convener of thought leaders and community practitioners alike. Just like last year, the 2012 Social Finance Forum will bring together players from across sectors to address key issues, exchange ideas, build relationships, and inspire more action to build the industry.

Entering its fifth annual year, the 2012 Social Finance Forum is built around the theme of ’Measuring up’ and tackles the opportunities and challenges surrounding impact measurement, while exploring what makes a good deal and how existing market opportunities measure up. The two-day conference will feature plenary sessions by national and global leaders in impact investing, exciting announcements, and interactive workshops.

The Forum will also include the Good Deals Pitch Presentations, in which a handful of ventures with high potential will present their pitches to the conference audience, and the announcement of the inaugural Social Finance Awards. Vote now for the ’Most Promising New Financial Player’ in the Canadian social finance landscape – voting closes at 11:59 A.M. EDT Thusday, Nov. 8.

We are delighted to announce the 2012 Social Finance Forum Webcast, which will provide real-time audio and video programming live from the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

Watch all the plenary sessions and hear from leading keynote speakers and panelists, including:

  • Gordon M. Nixon, president & CEO, RBC
  • Arlene Dickinson, CEO, Venture Communications, Dragon’s Den panelist
  • Andrew Broderick, vice president Community Investment, Vancity
  • Gayle Peterson, associate fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
  • Anthony Bugg Levine, CEO, Non-profit Finance Fund
  • Sherri Torjman, vice president, Caledon Institute of Social Policy
  • Ted Anderson, director, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
  • Bart Houlahan, co-founder, B Lab

Participate in these skills building workshops presented by industry experts:

  • Made to measure: Tools and practices
  • Social return on investment (SROI) 101
  • It takes a village: Collaboration in shared outcomes and measuring together
  • The failure report: Not afraid to measure

As a webcast delegate, you can submit questions to a moderator, and vote on pitch sessions, online. All webcast broadcast content will be accessible to Social Finance Forum and webcast delegates for one year.

Register for the 2012 Social Finance Forum webcast, which is $50 and covers both days of the conference, and we hope to see you online.

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