Comment 40286

By Imperial (anonymous) | Posted April 29, 2010 at 22:52:22

Great thoughts all round folks.

I had a very interesting meeting with the Deputy Minister of Citizenship today and it sounds like the Provincial government is thinking in a similar direction. There must be funding models that work better than just straight grants or loans > and process is key in giving out funds.

GHVF is great and a potential source of funding if you're in a very specific field - seems mostly medical, tech, pharma, etc. Innovation Night (led by Trivaris) is a another great forum connecting with potential VC folks > opportunity for social enterprise businesses in this arena.

Personally, I see this as a place that the Community Foundation could be playing a great role. Organization is well respected for handling funds and endowments. Understands the varying needs of Hamilton (different industries, neighbourhoods, etc). The only issue is that they are likely risk adverse. Not that that's entirely bad.

The Deputy Minister had a great idea of creating some form of SE or VC bond. Public buys the bonds just like they buy Canadian Saving Bonds, but the interest is split. Say 75% to the bond holder, 25% to the VC fund (or some such equation) in the community the purchaser chooses. Bonds administered by the government, interest-based VC fund managed by local foundation. Everyone makes money, small businesses get a boost, foundation gains local credit beyond the non-profit sector, and the public learns that investing local business makes good sense.

I keep hoping someone with banking smarts will sort this out. Hamilton needs a VC fund program that normal citizens can buy into, and creative businesses can apply to.

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