Aligning values with investments
Building upon a long history of supporting and fostering healthy communities, St. Joseph’s has become the first hospital in Southwestern Ontario to align its investments with its values to make an impact across the region.
St. Joseph’s is collaborating with VERGE Capital, which provides growth capital to social enterprises, and will be among the initial investors in the Verge Breakthrough Fund II and Co-Lead of the fund with the Canadian Alternative Investment Foundation (CAIF) through Pillar Nonprofit Network. Verge Breakthrough Fund II is the second fund from Pillar Nonprofit Network and SVX.
“Enhancing the economic and social health and well-being of our community is a priority for St. Joseph’s and social impact investing brings this commitment to a new level,” says Lori Higgs, Vice President Clinical Support and Chief Financial Officer.
VERGE Capital is a social finance program of Pillar Nonprofit Network supported by many community collaborators. It is Southwestern Ontario’s first social impact investing intermediary that provides growth capital to organizations whose main goal is promoting social or environmental welfare rather than making or maximizing profit.
A growing trend, social impact investing is an alternative investment strategy aimed at investors looking to generate specific beneficial social or environmental effects in addition to financial gains.
St. Joseph’s investment with VERGE Capital will have positive local community impact. The Verge Breakthrough Fund II, which has officially launched with a $1.75 million initial investment, aims to raise up to $10 million to provide lending capital to local enterprises, projects and organizations tackling the region’s most pressing challenges with a focus on local impact, affordable housing initiatives, equity and inclusion, climate action, and systems change in the region, explains Filsan Farah, Program Lead, VERGE Capital.
St Joseph’s, like all hospitals, invests money the organization has in reserve to grow this money and enable critical future investments, explains Lori.
“We are excited by this collaboration with VERGE and like-minded investors and changemakers. This includes our founding Sisters of St. Joseph, who were among the first investors in VERGE’s initial Breakthrough Fund.”
The Verge Breakthrough Fund II is dedicated to providing more equitable access to capital, especially for social enterprises owned by, led by, or serving historically excluded and marginalized populations, adds Filsan. Financing provided will help these social enterprises successfully turn unmet social, economic and environmental needs into viable business opportunities that have a lasting positive impact on the well-being of their community.
“For St. Joseph’s, social impact investing is about community building, which is very much a fit with our mission and commitment to collaboration that fosters equity, health and well-being of our community,” says Roy Butler, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s. “The fund’s support of affordable housing, equity and inclusion initiatives is particularly close to the heart of St. Joseph’s and our work, with partners, on a system solution to address the challenges of homelessness in the city that will better serve the most vulnerable in our community.”
For more information, please see the VERGE Capital media release and visit the VERGE Capital website to learn about the programs and organizations it supports and the impact it has had in Southwestern Ontario.