July 29, 2013
Canada’s first hybrid corporations launch in B.C.
Accelerating Social Impact CCC Ltd. was registered today as one of British Columbia’s first community contribution companies (CCC), a new recognized hybrid corporation structure in Canada.
Registration for CCCs opened this morning (July 29) as a government response to an emerging demand for socially focused investment options. The hybrid corporation structure aims to bridge the gap between for-profit companies and non-profit organizations.
Accelerating Social Impact seeks to serve as an information source and intermediary for the range of social impact through blended-value business and financing options. As its name indicates, the corporation’s purpose is to accelerate this emerging environment.
David LePage, Scott Hughes, John Kay and Jim Fletcher are Accelerating Social Impact's board members and represent the array of potential engagement in activities from non-profits, private sector, co-ops and various investors.
Having worked in different areas around social finance, commercial planning or social enterprise the board members have realized a huge gap exists between demand and supply when it comes to investors and people looking to get ready for investments.
“We feel there's an intermediary role that's really missing,” says David, founding Accelerating Social Impact board member and shareholder.
Scott has been a social finance practitioner for more than a decade. As principal of CapacityBuild Consulting Inc. he supports mission-based organizations in business planning and financial strategies.
The current organizational structures in Canada present a challenge due to the lack of flexibility around combining philanthropic with market-based funding for combined mission and financial outcomes, says Scott.
Accelerating Social Impact has the opportunity to be a catalyst in promoting innovation in organizational structure while providing needed supports and services to assist mission-based organizations, says Scott.
“I am really excited about the possibilities for Accelerating Social Impact to become a centre for innovation in supporting social finance capacity and transactions in B.C.,” he adds.
Being a “first out of the gate,” CCC has benefits in bringing attention to this new structure, notes Scott, as they can speak about what is required to establish this type of corporation that is among the tools to further the capacity of the province’s social finance sector.
John, CEO of Realize Co-op, says he is excited to be one of the first CCCs that is up and running.
“I love experiments, I love new challenges, so for me this is a great opportunity to try out a new model that has never been done before in Canada and to experiment with a new corporate form, one that is very different than what we have traditionally had,” says John.
CCCs have the ability to issue shares and pay dividends to shareholders and must follow rules to ensure the majority of their projects and assets are directed towards a social purpose.
“This new model will unlock new ways to generate meaningful, local employment in B.C. and generate economic wealth for our province by encouraging private investment in B.C.’s social enterprise sector,” says Finance Minister Michael de Jong in a news statement.
Accelerating Social Impact will be developing a full business plan over the next three to six months.
Writer: Jennifer Neutel