Community Impact Investment 101

Community Impact Investment organizations are new and innovative support system for rural and urban economic and business development that effectively bridge the gap between local investors and local ventures in need of financing. Community Impact Investment organizations are a cost effective, community owned and controlled impact fund. They enable residents to become partners in locally driven economic development, which leads to stronger and more sustainable economies. In other words, your money won’t be in stocks and mutual funds, but more importantly in local projects and people.

The longer a dollar can circulate within a community, the greater its economic and social impacts.

Community Impact Investment organizations have successfully financed ventures across Canada that generate significant local impacts including: affordable housing; renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and food production; locally-owned small business development; technology; and community economic development projects.

BC Community Impact Investment organizations have been incorporated many ways: as Community Investment Co-ops, Non-Profit Lending Societies, Local Investment Corporations, Equity CrowdFunding Platforms or Venture Capital Corporations.


Please click on the image or name of an Community Impact Organization below to be redirected to their website.
Most organizations below can accept individual and corporate members, and retail and accredited investors.
Please contact each organization for further details on their rules around investor and borrower eligibility.

The Creston & District Community Investment Co-op serves communities from Yahk to Riondel. Their purpose is to direct new, or pre-existing, investment capital from local residents into local ventures with community impact. The Investment Co-op accepts loan applications from all Creston & District entrepreneurs.

 

The East Kootenay Columbia Community Investment Co-op is a member-owned association that finances local businesses with the purpose of promoting economic, social, environmental and community impacts. They finance East Kootenay Columbia businesses located in the following four sub-regions and their surrounding communities: Elk Valley, Cranbrook-Kimberley, Columbia Valley-Golden, and Revelstoke.

The Gabriola Island Community Investment Co-op will finance projects to create positive social and environmental impacts in their community. They have six strategic investment areas: affordable housing; food security and sustainable agri-food businesses; First Nations partnerships; sustainable local businesses and meaningful work; clean technologies and renewable energy; and waste recovery and recycling.

 

The Galiano Community Loan Fund, which was created by Galiano Islanders who have come together as lenders to the Fund to support borrowers in the community.

 

The mission of the Island Community Solar Co-op (ICSC) is to empower individuals and communities in the Vancouver Island region to invest in transitioning towards a distributed renewable energy future by developing local solar projects. ICSC’s vision is for everyone to be able to participate in making solar power a significant contributor to energy self-sufficiency on Vancouver Island. 

 

The mission of the Knives & Forks Community Investment Co-op is to promote and provide strategic and responsible community investment in local food production and distribution in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

 

The purpose of the Sunshine Coast Investment Co-op is to finance projects that create social and environmental impacts in their community, while also providing a modest financial return to their members. They have four strategic investment focus areas: food security, meaningful work, environmental sustainability and affordable housing.

 

SolShare Energy is a community-owned renewable energy Co-op in British Columbia. They own solar energy systems that residents of BC can own as investors. Investors receive dividends based on the energy produced.

The Transition Salt Spring Enterprise Co-op offers Green capital and Green Micro-loans. Activities to date include loans for the Booth Canal pathway, the Salt Spring Island Abattoir, and the Electric Vehicle Charging Station at ArtSpring.

 

The West Kootenay Boundary Community Investment Co-op is a member-owned association that finances local businesses with the purpose of promoting economic, social, environmental and community impacts. They finance West Kootenay Boundary businesses located in the following four sub-regions and their surrounding communities: Grand Forks-Boundary, Trail-Rossland, Nelson-Castlegar, and Upper Slocan-Arrow-Kootenay Lakes.

 

The Vancouver Island Community Investment Co-op helps people invest money in local, sustainable projects on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Their unique investment model provides social impact investors the opportunity to receive a GIC equivalent return on investments, while ensuring local projects obtain the funding they need.