VERGE has catalyzed over $1 million of local investment since June 2014. These investments have supported social enterprises in the food retail, consumer goods, education and social innovation sector.
Overall impact includes providing access to training and employment for persons with disabilities, poverty alleviation, global access to educational materials and the only space in London designed to facilitate collaboration between social innovators.
Social Enterprise Loan Fund
The Ontario Government's Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund and other grants have enabled the creation of a Social Enterprise Loan Fund and loans to these organizations.
Old East Village Grocer, operated by ATN Access Inc. (a not for profit charitable organization) was VERGE's first investment through the Social Enterprise Loan Fund. The OEV Grocer has a dual impact of providing training and employment to persons with disabilities and access to local and affordable food in an underserved neighbourhood.
For the Love of Laundry's vision of clean clothes for everyone was directly supported by a VERGE investment through the Social Enterprise Loan Fund. Owner, Melissa Powers, is a seasoned veteran of natural homemade products who believes in the mission of social enterprise and sells her product to help fund free laundry events.
Textbooks for Change is a B Corporation that is dedicated to providing affordable and accessible educational material to students both locally and abroad. It is an innovative for-profit social enterprise that collects millions of dollars in used textbooks and repurposes them in several ways to create financial value and positive social impact around the world.
Momos at the Market is committed to cooking and serving freshly prepared food starting with natural, healthy & tasty ingredients while improving newcomer lives by providing job opportunities and training. Founder, Yam Gurung, is a dedicated social entrepreneur that is excited to grow Momos at their new location at the London Food Incubator and continue the growth of their Khaja Himalayan Granola products.
Cyber Smart Canada Inc is dedicated to empowering Canadian parents & organizations to keep kids safe online. Their goal is to reach 250,000 families by the end of 2021 through our in-person training, online webinars and training courses. Cyber Smart Canada is poised to be the #1 source in Canada for cyber safety tips to keep kids safe in our fast changing digital world.
Earmark is an exciting new social enterprise that uses revenue earned from real estate commissions to invest in the fabric of the London community and support the work of "change makers". In partnership with StreetCity Realty, founder Marla Marnoch is committed to building a vibrant, caring city.
Loko Sport is a Canadian activewear line designed for women of all shapes and sizes. We are excited for the launch of their social selling initiative in which they will be collaborating with yoga and fitness instructors in order to provide wellness opportunities for individuals that face challenges.
Textbooks for Change, is an innovative for-profit social enterprise that collects millions of dollars in used textbooks and repurposes them in several ways to create financial value and positive social impact around the world. Their mission is dedicated to providing affordable and accessible educational material to students both locally and abroad.
VERGE supported Pillar Nonprofit Network in the design of a Community Bond which raised $1 million to support the only space in London designed to facilitate social innovation. Pillar's Innovation Works attracted 45 individual and institutional supporters to their community initiative, with investments ranging from $1000 to $500,000.
VERGE Annual Report - 2015-2016