Funded by the Government of Canada, the $50M Investment Readiness Program (IRP)  supports social purpose organizations as they contribute to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges across Canada.

The goal of IRP is to help social purpose organizations build their capacity to participate in Canada’s growing social finance market and prepare for the Government of Canada’s broader investment in social finance via the Social Finance Fund

Community Foundations of Canada was proud to have served as one of the IRP’s national funding intermediaries alongside the National Association of Friendship Centres, Chantier de l’économie sociale, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), and the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF).

In Nova Scotia, CFC collaborated with Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, Ulnooweg Indigenous Communities Foundation and CFNS to award IRP funding. Over the three rounds of funding more than $1.2 million was awarded to 27 organizations addressing issues such as poverty, wellbeing, economic opportunity, equality and climate change across our province. 

About the Investment Readiness Program

The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) was designed to help social purpose organizations prepare their team and social enterprises to accept investments. The objective is for these organizations to be able to participate in the social finance market and generate a return for investors while having a positive impact on their communities.  Through loans, equity or other investments, like the upcoming Social Finance Fund, social finance can give social purpose organizations the opportunity to access repayable funding to make their impact and organizations grow.

Some examples of social enterprises:

  • A non-profit that employs people facing barriers to employment to perform eco-friendly home retrofits
  • A charity that runs a catering service and provides culinary training for at-risk youth 
  • A co-op that offers affordable laundry and delivery service while giving work experience to people living in poverty
  • A business that helps local farmers sell their crops and products to consumers at a fair price
  • A store that offers local artisans credit to purchase food in exchange for their crafts


Round 1

Almost $300K awarded in Nova Scotia for IRP Round 1

In 2019, Community Foundations of Canada, alongside the Government of Canada and several partner organizations, announced the Investment Readiness Program (IRP), a program helping social purpose organizations advance their social enterprises to prepare to seek and accept investments.

Round 1 Results

Across Canada, 257 organizations received IRP funding in CFC’s first funding round. In Nova Scotia, CFNS awarded $300,000 to six organizations:

Visit Community Foundations of Canada for more details about CFC’s funded projects, as well as projects funded through the various partner organizations.

Round 2

Over $280K awarded in Nova Scotia for IRP Round 2

CFC’s received over 975 applications for the second IRP application intake and provided $8.3M of funding to 270 social purpose organizations across the country, including 7 in Nova Scotia.

Round 2 Results

Seven Nova Scotia organizations received funding totalling $280,120 for their projects: 

  • $35,020 to the Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-op, Baddeck
  • $66,000 to Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia, Dartmouth
  • $40,000 to Medway Community Forest Cooperative, Caledonia
  • $60,000 to LakeCity Works, Dartmouth
  • $36,800 to One North End Community Economic Development Society, Halifax
  • $25,300 to Independent Living Nova Scotia, Halifax
  • $17,000 to Affirmative Ventures, Dartmouth

Visit for more details about CFC’s funded projects, as well as projects funded through the various partner organizations.

Round 3

Over $630K awarded in Nova Scotia for IRP Round 3

Thirteen organizations working to do good in Nova Scotia received $632,916 in funding through the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) in 2023 to increase their positive impact though social enterprise.

Round 3 Results
  • Be the Peace Institute – $25,000
  • Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design – $64,700
  • Community CARES – $25,000
  • Dartmouth Adult Services Centre (DASC) Industries – $32,453
  • Eyelevel Artist Run Centre – $36,099
  • Farm to Feast Café Association – $54,557
  • Hope Blooms – $75,000
  • iMove Arts Association – $72,500
  • LakeCity Works – $74,807  
  • Richmond River Roots Market Garden Society – $25,000
  • Scott’s Bay Campground – $25,000 
  • The Flower Cart Group – $47,800
  • YWCA Halifax – $75,000