Weirdly enough, “social ventures” and “social enterprises” are not real things! Sort of…
Despite the Social Finance Fund launching in May 2023, plus a couple decades of social enterprise scholarship and practices, “social enterprise” is not a legal structure in Canada. In fact, current federal and provincial legislation doesn’t offer any legal structure combining the perks of both the for-profit and non-profit corporations.
But we have lots of options and flexibility when it comes to defining how our companies operate, get financing, and grow sustainably, ethically, and in line with our communities’ needs.
And hybrid entities do exist:
- In B.C., you have the Community Contribution Company (CCC or C3) and Benefit Company (PDF).
- In N.S., you have the Community Interest Company.
- And across the country, B Corporation certification is also an option.
These hybrid structures come with additional reporting obligations and may require amendments to your articles of incorporation. Restrictions on the use of capital can also hamper your funding and financing options.