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The Procurement and Investment Readiness Fund (PIRF) is a grant fund for social enterprises in Ontario that supports social enterprises to assess their procurement and investment readiness, and to access the services and capacity building supports necessary to successfully compete for procurement and investment opportunities. Ultimately, the goal of the PIRF is to make it possible for social enterprises to be successful in winning larger contracts and investment which will allow them to significantly expand the scope and reach of their social impact. The PIRF is funded by the Government of Ontario (MEDJCT) and is administered by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in partnership with key leaders in the social enterprise sector. The Fund is slated to end in March of 2021.
CCEDNet is a national association of organizations and people throughout Canada committed to strengthening communities by creating economic opportunities that enhance social and environmental conditions.
The Procurement and Investment Readiness Fund (“the Fund”) is the first of its kind in Canada. The Fund is based on the model of the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund (ICRF) which existed in the UK from 2012 to 2015. A call for proposals was announced by the Government of Ontario in November of 2017 for administration of the Fund, based on a prescriptive set of guidelines developed from research conducted by a team of government officials about the UK model. These guidelines are available here.
The grant fund awards three types of grants:
- i) Assessment Grants of up to $5,000 to be used by the social enterprise to hire an Assessment Partner to undertake an assessment of their investment or procurement readiness and develop an action plan for becoming more investment or procurement ready.
- ii) Capacity Building Grants of up to $50,000 to implement all or part of the Capacity Building Plan developed through the assessment.
- iii) A separate Catalytic Grant stream of up to $100,000 to support social enterprises who are investment or procurement ready to secure that larger investment or contract. For the Catalytic Grant, the social enterprise must have identified an investment or procurement opportunity valued at four (4) times the amount of grant monies being requested. An assessment is not required for the Catalytic Grant.
For more detailed information about the Fund, please go to readinessfund.ca.
Collaborative governance structure:
The Fund is a partnership of thirteen partners and is governed by a collaborative governance structure set up among the thirteen partners. Each partner has a representative who sits on the Leadership Group, which meets regularly to discuss and review developments of the Fund. Please see Annex 2 for the list of these partners. The collaborative governance structure is an innovative and important feature of this Fund.
Please send your CV, a brief methodology proposal and approximate estimated budget (to be further refined once the evaluator is selected) to Philippa Wiens, Senior Program Manager, at p.wiens at ccednet-rcdec.ca by March 24th 2019.
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