The Procurement & Investment Readiness Fund
The Fund was an important financing and support mechanism for the whole sector. The PIRF was the only fund of its kind in Canada and was created by the sector to utilize a small amount of money to leverage many times more in business for Ontario.
Please visit the websites of the partners below for information about other programs and services for social enterprises.
Is your social enterprise ready to take the next step?
Are you looking to score that big contract or land that large investment?
What is the Fund?
The Procurement and Investment Readiness Fund (PIRF) is a fund for social enterprises to assess their procurement and investment readiness, and to access the services and capacity building supports necessary to successfully compete for procurement and investment opportunities. The Fund is administered by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in partnership with key leaders from the social enterprise sector.
Who is the Fund For?
- The PIRF is for revenue generating social enterprises in Ontario.
- The PIRF does not fund other Funds (such as social impact or investment funds).
- The PIRF is not set up to fund the creation of new social enterprises.
- Consortiums of social enterprises are welcome to apply.
Please see the Program Guidelines for further details.
Am I Eligible?
Social enterprises are organizations that use business strategies to achieve a social, cultural, or environmental mission. Alongside generating revenues through the sale of goods and services, social enterprises simultaneously intend to create a positive impact and measure results in doing so. As the business of a social enterprise grows, the social impact is expected to grow.
Social enterprises may take the form of enterprising not-for-profit organizations, social-purpose co-operatives or for-profit businesses with a social mission. Eligible social enterprises must identify with the following core principles:
- The organization derives a substantial portion of its income through the sale of goods and/or services.
- The organization intends to create a social or environmental impact through its business activities. The impact is intentional and not merely a by-product of business operations.
- The organization measures and reports on its social, cultural and/or environmental impact.
- The organization has a blended business model, with social impact as a defining element of its business model. The social and/or environmental impact of the social enterprise grows in lockstep with its business growth.
Please see the updated Program Guidelines for further details on eligibility criteria for social enterprises which can apply.
How Do I Apply?
You need to complete the online eligibility form. Please read the Program Guidelines before you submit your application.
Apply for this grant to complete an assessment to evaluate your social enterprise’s overall investment and procurement readiness. This grant will pair your social enterprise with an Assessment Partner to determine your level of readiness.
Social enterprises that have received an Assessment Grant may apply for a grant of up to $50,000 to access services to address capacity gaps based on the action plan developed as part of the assessment.
Apply to this grant if your thriving social enterprise has identified specific procurement / investment opportunity. With the Catalytic Grant you can apply for funding of up to $100,000 to access services and supports to enable your social enterprise to compete for an identified procurement or investment opportunity.
ASSESSMENT GRANT APPLICATIONS OPEN AS OF MARCH 15 2019.
Before applying to any grant, you must create your account on the portal, and fill in the Eligibility form (available by clicking Apply Now).
You can find downloadable PDF versions of the application forms by clicking on the respective tab of the grant located underneath the ‘Who is the Fund for?’ section of this page.
The Fund is expected to continue accepting grant applications until early 2021, exact date to be determined according to level of demand for grants. The program guidelines will be kept up to date, and when the Fund has set a final application date we will aim to give as much notice as possible.
The Procurement and Investment Readiness Fund project builds upon the infrastructure and leverages the human and financial resources of an existing national collaboration, the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (S4ES) project. The S4ES partners bring additional capacity and key expertise that add value to the existing resources available in Ontario. The Social Enterprise Ecosystem project is a collaborative venture of the Canadian CED Network, the Commerce Solidaire, the Social Value Lab, Buy Social Canada and the Social Enterprise Institute. S4ES supports, enhances and scales the social enterprise ecosystem by integrating and simplifying access to three pan-Canadian, sustainable, accessible platforms (Akcelos, SEI learning platform, and Buy Social Canada certification), along with access to social finance to contribute to the emergence and growth of social enterprises.
First of its Kind in Canada
We will be learning about what works best with this type of fund in Canada as the program evolves. We invite applicants to check back with this web-site to keep abreast of any changes over the course of the program. We welcome any feedback to help us improve the process. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible. We invite you to be part of this journey with us!
PIRF Project Partners
Types of grants
Total Funding Available
Get in Touch
PIRF - CCEDNET, 223 Main, St. Saint Paul University,
Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Atelier
Ottawa ON K1S 1C4
Hours: 9am - 4pm (Monday to Friday)