A tough economy drives innovation in Aboriginal social finance.

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That’s to IBC, Alberta may be the centre of social finance in Canada

Calgary’s Indian Business Corporation (IBC) is a good example of social finance at work. By focusing on small business lending to First Nations entrepreneurs, IBC takes risks unthinkable for a bank or credit union. In 95% of cases, IBC’s loans are repaid in full and they are able to churn and contribute more capital to a long line of First Nations entrepreneurs waiting for financing. Getting loans paid back involves providing extensive pre and aftercare: everything from business planning to helping with receivables to tax filing. Federal and provincial programs help absorb the extra-ordinary costs of developmental lending, which in turn allows IBC to offer impact investors a chance to achieve their goals.

Terrapin has been fortunate to work closely with the team at IBC and enjoyed putting the following paper together.