For ten years, between 1998 and 2009, Ecotrust Canada operated a mission-based loan fund, supporting small and medium sized businesses that were building measurable triple bottom line results into their enterprises. The loan fund was part of Ecotrust Canada’s strategy to build a conservation economy in B.C., and over the ten years of operating the loan fund achieved a number of notable results – both in terms of impact and in terms of portfolio management.
This report provides an insider’s view of that body of work at an important time in the evolution of social finance activity in this country. It offers not only a review of how a fund of this size and type can and should be structured for success, but also why the complex task of mission-based investment is important in our efforts to develop and scale innovation. The evaluation was completed by Dr. Dominique Collin, who has been able to use his many years of experience in the field of finance to offer us a complete and compelling set of lessons learned from this tiny pioneering loan fund, punching well above its weight to build social enterprises in BC.