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About RBC > Community & Sustainability > Social Finance > What we're up to

What we're up to

RBC is involved in partnerships, initiatives and sponsorships to promote the growth of social finance in Canada. As a financial services company, RBC plays a role in helping create an environment where new and innovative companies can succeed in addressing social and environmental challenges.


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January 22: Launch Party for Responsible Investment 2015 Trends Report, Toronto, ON


March 16-22, 2015:
East Coast Start-Up Week (opens external website in new window), Fredericton, NB


March 30, 2015:
Big Ideas Challenge (opens external website in new window), Waterloo, ON


April 15-17, 2015:
Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship (opens external website in new window), Oxford, London


May 4-6, 2015:
US SIF Conference (opens external website in new window) on Sustainable Investing, Chicago, IL


May 13-14, 2015:
Futurpreneur National Summit (opens external website in new window), Toronto, ON

RBC provided bursaries to 20 promising social entrepreneurs. Learn more about them here.


May 31- June 2, 2015:
Responsible Investment Conference (opens external website in new window), Banff, AB


September 21-27, 2015:
Vancouver Startup Week (opens external website in new window), Vancouver, BC


September 23, 2015:
IMPACT 2015 (opens external website in new window), Vancouver, BC


September 24-25, 2015:
Banff Venture Forum (opens external website in new window), Banff, AB


November 12-13, 2015:
Social Finance Forum (opens external website in new window), Toronto, ON


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MaRS Centre for Impact Investing: The Centre, launched in late 2011, is designed 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, social enterprises, as well as the development of models, tools, products, research and services to create and measure positive social and environmental impact.

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Ashoka: Ashoka 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.

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

Communitech: Accelerating Social Cause Entrepreneurs (ASCEnt) 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 Social Finance sponsored the ASCEnt Demand Creation program in 2015 and the “Big Ideas Challenge” in 2014 and 2015.

Futurepreneur Canada: Futurpreneur 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.

HUB Ottawa: HUB 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 Social Finance is a HUB Ottawa sponsor.

Impact8: This intensive eight-week boot camp in Toronto, ON 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.

NORCAT: The RBC Social Finance initiative supports NORCAT’s ASCEnt NORTH program, which focuses on assisting entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses who are solving social and environmental issues in Sudbury and Northern Ontario.

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

Planet Hatch: RBC Social Finance supports this Fredericton-based accelerator for conventional and social-purpose start-ups. Planet Hatch is part of Knowledge Park, New Brunswick's equivalent to MaRS.

RISE Asset Development: The RBC Foundation donated $75,000 in 2012 and in 2014, to Rise Asset Development, 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.


Support for Aboriginal Entrepreneurs
RBC is an investor in the CAPE fund, which is focused on investment opportunities with strong Aboriginal involvement and connection to Aboriginal communities throughout Canada.

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