It’s a new take on venture capital.
VERGE Capital, made up of a number of groups including Pillar NonProfit Network, the London Community Foundation, and the Sisters of St. Joseph, is providing loans to different individuals and groups to help further their work.
The announcement was made Tuesday during a press conference at the Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market.
Executive Director of Pillar, Michelle Baldwin, said VERGE wants to make a difference.
“These organizations have really got behind this notion, and really trying to get new investors and provide great loans to incredible social enterprises in our community who are going to create impact and really move us forward and put London on the map,” said Baldwin.
She explains how many loans will be issued.
“We have kind of a goal of 2 to 4 per year, but we are flexible on the level of need that’s required, and we really want to make sure that we make sound investments,” Baldwin said.
The first loan recipients are the Old East Village Grocer and For the Love of Laundry.
VERGE feels the Old East Village Grocer store has many socially positive initiatives, including hiring adults with disabilities who face barriers in employment and training them in the grocery environment for future workplace opportunities. The Grocer also provides access to affordable and healthy food to an area considered to be a food desert.
For the Love of Laundry serves low-income and homeless citizens through offering a location to wash their clothes at free laundry events.
“I’m pleased to see VERGE Capital helping to build up local businesses and organizations that are making a positive difference in their communities. The growth of the global social finance marketplace is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020, and our government is committed to helping London lead efforts to build this market in southwestern Ontario” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure in a news release.