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Supporting Social Entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurs are a rare but growing breed in Canada. What makes them unique? They use formally stated social or environmental goals to gauge the performance of their business. These innovative game changers believe that social businesses can achieve financial sustainability while leaving a positive impact on society.

RBC plays an important role in helping to create an environment where new businesses can succeed. In addition to the investments made through the RBC Generator, we support social entrepreneurs by collaborating with organizations that offer meaningful professional development and mentorship opportunities.


Organizations We Support

You are on: National

Ashoka CanadaAshoka Canada is part of a global support network for social entrepreneurs. Since 1981, Ashoka has elected over 3,000 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing the Fellows with living stipends, professional support and access to a global network of peers. In 2013, the RBC Foundation donated $250,000 to Ashoka’s Learning Networks Program and donated $185,000 in 2010 to the Aboriginal Education Changemakers Competition.


FuturpreneurFuturpreneur supports entrepreneurs throughout every stage of their business by providing expertise, financing, mentoring and business resources. The RBC Foundation has donated over $2.5 million to the organization since 2000. In 2015, RBC provided travel bursaries to 20 social entrepreneurs from across the country who attended their national summit.


LEAP The Centre for Social ImpactLEAP The Centre for Social Impact identifies great Canadian charities and helps them achieve scale. In 2014, the RBC Foundation donated $50,000 to Stop Now and Plan (SNAP), LEAP’s inaugural investee, which supports children with serious behavioural concerns and their families.


Venture for CanadaVenture for Canada recruits graduates to work at Canadian startups in need of talent, with the mission of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship. RBC formed a partnership with Venture for Canada in 2015 to help place new grads with a passion for change in social enterprises.

You are on: Ontario

CommunitechCommunitech’s Accelerating Social Cause Entrepreneurs (ASCEnt) program is committed to helping social entrepreneurs polish their go-to-market plans, build viable product offerings and make key connections to partners, customers and industry influencers. RBC is a primary supporter of the ASCEnt program and the Big Ideas Challenge pitch competition, run in collaboration with ASCEnt and St. Paul’s GreenHouse.


HUBHUB is an incubator for social enterprises based in Ottawa, Ontario. HUB gives members the opportunity to accelerate their learning, connect with the right experts at the right time, collaborate, and build lasting professional relationships. RBC has supported HUB Ottawa since 2013.


MaRSMaRS Centre for Impact Investing aims to increase awareness of social finance and direct new capital and talent to tackle social and environmental problems in Canada. RBC's $1 million, five-year commitment funds educational and advisory programs for investors, financial advisors, and social enterprises, as well as the development of models, tools, products, research and services to create and measure positive social and environmental impact.


Impact8Impact8 is an intensive eight-week boot camp in Toronto, Ontario that brings high potential social ventures to a higher state of investment readiness, helping them attract financing and assisting them in scaling their impact. RBC is a founding supporter of Impact8, providing advice and other services to the social ventures who go through the program.


Community Finance SolutionsCommunity Finance Solutions is a consulting and referral service that supports initiatives that create new impact investing funds and financial products. RBC provides mentoring and advice to help develop a marketplace of effective impact investing funds and innovative financial products in communities across Canada.


NORCATNORCAT’s ASCEnt NORTH program aims to assist entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses who are solving social and environmental issues in Sudbury and northern Ontario. RBC has been supporting NORCAT in this mission since 2014.


RISERISE Asset Development is a financial initiative of the Rotman School of Management and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). RISE provides micro financing and mentorship to entrepreneurs facing mental health and addiction challenges. The RBC Foundation donated $75,000 in 2012 and in 2014 to RISE.

You are on: British Columbia

SpringSpring is a purpose driven accelerator that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses, get unstuck, and raise the funding they need to change the world. In 2016, RBC partnered with Spring to help deliver the tools, training and resources entrepreneurs need to validate, launch, and grow their business.


Institute BInstitute B supports businesses that put profit and societal value on equal footing by providing education, consulting and funding. In collaboration with Institute B, RBC hosted a public screening of “Not Business As Usual” and a panel discussion on conscious capitalism in 2013. In 2014, RBC funded a financing workshop for social entrepreneurs in the Vancouver region.

You are on: Alberta

Innovate CalgaryInnovate Calgary supports and accelerates innovation in Alberta’s technology sector. They serve as a hub for start-up companies, entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, industry and partners to take ideas to market. In 2015, RBC made a multi-year commitment to support Innovate Calgary’s Social Innovation program, which strives to provide programming and support to social enterprises.

You are on: Atlantic Region

Planet HatchPlanet Hatch is a Fredericton-based accelerator for conventional and social-purpose start-ups. RBC has been supporting Planet Hatch since 2013, and in 2015 sponsored East Coast Startup Week and the Social Impact Development Dialogue & Speaker Series. Planet Hatch is part of Knowledge Park, New Brunswick's equivalent to MaRS.