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April 28, 2022
Social Innovation Office Brings Together Private, Public and Non-Profit Sectors to Achieve Better Outcomes: Premier And Squires
The Manitoba government’s Social Innovation Office (SIO), in partnership with the Business Council of Manitoba, held its first Impact Investment Exchange event where businesses and community leaders joined senior elected and civil service officials to brainstorm how social innovation can help tackle some of the province’s most complex social and environmental challenges, Premier Heather Stefanson and Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.
“Our government believes in the incredible power of the private sector to create prosperity and opportunity,” said Stefanson. “As we plan for a strong economic and social recovery, we look forward to continuing to work with the business community to develop innovative partnerships and build a future full of hope and opportunity for all Manitobans.”
In spring 2020, Manitoba launched the SIO to be a national leader in social finance and bring government together with the private sector and community to allow a space for creative and passionate Manitobans to work together to achieve better outcomes. The SIO does this by creating impact-investing opportunities and fostering innovation, the premier noted.
As of April 2022, the SIO has advanced the development of nine Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) including initiatives aimed at keeping families together, improving health outcomes and diverting organic waste in partnership with investors in the private sector. The SIO continues to work with local, national and international investors to identify future opportunities to establish additional SIBs and engage the philanthropic community.
The SIO serves as a hub of innovation in the Manitoba Government to foster cross-sectoral collaboration by bringing together the private, public, and non-profit sectors to achieve better outcomes, believing that bold problems require bold solutions.
The Impact Investment Exchange featured keynote presentations from Adam Jagelewski, from the MaRS Centre and TwinRiver for Impact Investing and Richard Muller from SVX on Impact Untied, a global movement to mobilize investment capital towards social, economic and environmental justice. Cathy Cook, CEO of Southern First Nations Network of Care, presented a case study on the results of the ‘Restoring the Sacred Bond SIB’. Rochelle Squires moderated a panel discussion with Jagelewski, Stephen Huddert, former CEO of the McConnell Foundation, Mitchell Anderson from Inspirit Foundation.
“The opportunity to bring together leaders from so many sectors of Manitoba to learn, network and collectively develop solutions was an important step to build on the work the Social Innovation Office is doing,” said Squires. “The participants left the exchange energized and with a focus on how future partnerships can use social innovation principles to maximize impacts for Manitobans.
Breakout sessions and Q-and-A’s with speakers and participants allowed for wide-ranging discussions about national and global trends occurring in the impact investing market and the opportunity to discuss collaboration on future social innovation opportunities in Manitoba, added the minister. Areas of focus included affordable housing, health care, environmental sustainability, public safety, education, reconciliation and economic development.
“Manitoba’s business community is well known for supporting and leading transformational efforts to solve complex challenges,” said Bram Strain, president and CEO, Business Council of Manitoba. “This event was an opportunity for the private sector and government officials to come together, to explore partnership potential, and to lay the foundation for innovative collaborative solutions to the challenges and opportunities for our province. It is now time to move these ideas to actions.”
Impact investing is a global movement, now representing more than $715 billion in assets under management, where investors seek to generate financial returns while also creating a positive social or environmental impact. The field is diverse, but many joint government-related impact investment opportunities include Social Impact Bonds, Affordable Housing Funds and Green and Sustainability Bonds, noted Squires.
The minister added the province will build on events like the Impact Investment Exchange in the coming months and years to allow Manitoba to emerge as a social innovation leader.
For more information on the Social Impact Office, visit: https://manitoba.ca/sio.
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