In 2010, the Social Finance Chain started providing micro-loans to young social entrepreneurs through the Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada (YSEC).

The program supported the successful development of three youth-run social enterprises with very positive results:

  • 100% repayment rate,
  • 6% average rate of return,
  • Positive social and environmental return (SROI).

The promising results of the Social Finance Chain and the significant demand for funding signaled the need for a long-term program that provides comprehensive support to young social entrepreneurs.

From the success of the Social Finance Chain program emerged the beginnings of the Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund (YSI).

YSI supports young social entrepreneurs by providing financial and non-financial resources to safely grow their social ventures. In addition to driving the creation of sustainable youth-led social enterprises, YSI bridges the gap between impact investors and young social entrepreneurs by offering triple bottom line investment opportunities that earn financial, social, and environmental returns.

Organizational Milestones

Since the inception of YSI in 2012, micro-loans and support packages have been distributed to young social entrepreneurs facilitating their growth and success. Our milestones and accomplishments include:

September 2012:

YSI incorporates under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

First loan disbursement. Ilana Ben-Ari receives YSI financing and support to grow her social venture Twenty One Toys, a toy creation company re-imagining toys as tools for social change, organizational change, educational change, and more. See how YSI played such a key role in the growth of the organization in this case study.

November 2012:

YSI is announced as a finalist for the SocialFinance.ca Awards. The SocialFinance.ca Awards are presented to leaders who are playing a pivotal role in catalyzing the Canadian social finance marketplace. The award was conceptualized to showcase and celebrate the efforts that individuals and organizations are making to mobilize private capital for public good.

April 2013:

Second loan disbursement. Ran Goel receives YSI financing and support to grow his social venture Fresh City Farms, a Toronto-based farm and farming network. They produce and deliver fresh, local, and organic groceries to subscribers. See why YSI invested in Ran Goel and Fresh City Farms in this blog post.

June 2013:

YSI receives Ontario Trillium Foundation  (OTF) Future Fund support.  OTF announces support for the provincial infrastructure for young social entrepreneurs by investing in seven community organizations and collaboratives through the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Future Fund Program.  YSI received funding under the Millennium Network Community.  Read more about OTF and the Future Fund in this press release.

November 2013:

The collaborative of YSI, CatalystsX, Vicki Saunders, and Ontario Trillium Foundation is a finalist for the SocialFinance.ca Awards. This year’s theme is “Most Promising Collaboration” in the Canadian social finance landscape.  Read more about the collaborative in this article.