Social finance…make it simple!

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Indian Business Corporation (IBC), a social finance leader based in Calgary, AB recently released this collection of impact stories from its loan customers – describing the ways in which their lives have changed for the better as a result of getting a loan, starting a business, hiring family and friends, and contributing to the stability of their communities.

Despite all the attention given to social impact bonds and the promised land of social finance, we’d argue it’s developmental lending that is the true mainstay of social finance in Canada. Loans made by Aboriginal Finance Institutes like IBC are easy to understand, relatively easy to make and their impact is pretty easy to spot.

Implicit in social finance is the cost of social change — improving the socio-economic circumstances of individuals, their families and their communities as well as growing businesses to support community economic development. By definition, developmental lending is concerned with social outcomes arising from financing activities. Without measuring social outcomes, social finance is simply finance, developmental lending is just lending. Measurement in this context has to include a lot of qualitative information and while this makes evaluations complex and difficult to compare…there’s nothing like a good story to demonstrate the value of an impact investment. We hope you enjoy this collection from IBC.