Expanding Access to Impact Investment, New Market Funds

Date of Publication

June 2021

Core Team


The Expanding Access to Impact Investment (EAII) initiative is one of three projects undertaken by New Market Funds Society in its role as an Ecosystem Mobilization partner for the Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program (IRP).

The EAII initiative is focused on gaining a better understanding of the barriers to impact investing by non-institutional investors (accredited and non-accredited investors), as well as market development strategies, to engage and enable a broad range of these investors to pursue social impact investing. This work contributes to growing Canada’s social finance marketplace, while diversifying its capital sources and increasing the availability and access to social impact investment opportunities.

A particular focus of the EAII project is on how to better enable social finance intermediaries — such as social impact private equity funds, community loan funds, affordable housing funds, social venture capital, and Indigenous venture funds — to expand their investor base and their ability to sustainably attract investment. This includes an overview of the regulatory requirements, as well as primary research into the knowledge and attitudes of non-institutional investors and wealth advisors on social impact investment.

Additional Reports

Everyday Retail Investor Research Package

In July 2020, EAII worked with Majid Khoury Strategy to conduct a pan-Canadian survey of 910 ‘everyday retail investors’ – individuals with investable assets ranging between $25,000 to $1 million. The research objectives were:

  1. Understanding investment knowledge and behaviour of this group of investors
  2. Exploring awareness and perception of impact investing, and the barriers and motivators to this type of investing
  3. Measuring the level of interest in investing in a representative group of Canadian social impact funds, as well as an assessment of what drives or limits investor interest

View the package to have access to the executive summary, full report, and survey questions used (EN & FR).

View the Package

The Guide to Canadian Securities Regulations for Social Impact Funds

The Guide to Canadian Securities Regulations for Social Impact Funds (the “Guide”) has been created for emerging impact investment funds, as well as existing funds seeking to grow or broaden their investor pool, in order to navigate the regulatory terrain. It should be considered as the title suggests — a guide. It is highly recommended that social impact funds work with trusted legal counsel early on to find the most appropriate channels to navigate through this complex system and avoid any costly mistakes.

View the Guide

Supplementary Materials

Research Direction Feedback and Ideation Session with TIIP

EAII held a feedback session on September 17th, 2020 to present the preliminary findings of the research to date and gain feedback from TIIP members on possible solutions and further research direction. The session was facilitated with the support of Seven25. Several documents were produced as a result of this session and shared with stakeholders. The full package of materials from the session can be viewed here. Materials can also be viewed as individual documents – please see below:

Wealth Advisor Survey

EAII conducted a survey in late 2020 that was sent to 130 Canadian responsible investment advisors. A PDF of the survey can be downloaded in English and in French below: