VERGE Capital supports local economies and communities across Southwestern Ontario by investing in social enterprises that put people and planet first.
What is VERGE?
We connect social enterprises with caring investors in their community, redirecting wealth to help tackle our region’s most challenging social and environmental issues.
A social enterprise seeks to have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact through its operations, and/or the sale of their products and services. Also known as social purpose organizations, they can take many different legal structures, including for-profits, non- profits, charities and cooperatives.
Our two place-based loan funds provide flexible and patient capital to both new and established social enterprises across Southwestern Ontario. Learn more about our story.
How we invest
VERGE Capital provides loans to social enterprises in Southwestern Ontario that contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.”
We embody these targets through our core values, investing in:
- Local impact
- We invest in locally-rooted social enterprises because they understand and are committed to serving the needs of their community. Innovative solutions created by, and for, the people of Southwestern Ontario generate and circulate community wealth and bring positive change in the lives of our neighbours.
- Equity & inclusion
- We invest in an inclusive economy that reflects the diversity of our communities and promotes prosperity for all. The social enterprises we support break down barriers to equitable economic opportunities such as employment, education and housing, and are committed to social, racial and economic justice.
- Climate action
- We invest in the only planet we have, protecting it for future generations. Sustainability is not enough – our climate emergency requires social enterprises that prioritize climate action. This means reducing greenhouse gas emissions, restoring our natural environment and leading the transition to a circular, clean and carbon-neutral economy.
- Systemic change
- We invest in social enterprises and innovations that address the root causes of our systemic social, economic, racial and gender inequalities. We support long-term, upstream solutions that shift culture, behaviour and policy to create lasting change.
What we offer
VERGE Capital offers low interest loans with flexible repayment terms, and does not require excessive collateral or personal guarantees from borrowers. This results in more equitable access to financing, especially for those who have experienced barriers to traditional sources of capital, wealth and income.
We prioritize social entrepreneurs from (or organizations that serve) underserved and underrepresented communities, such as Indigenous, rural or remote regions, racialized, newcomer, LGBTQ2+, people with disabilities, women and those who identify as non-binary.
Leading social finance innovations for Southwestern Ontario, VERGE Capital is helping to create an impact investing ecosystem in our region by:
Operating Two Social Finance Funds
The VERGE Capital Startup Fund provides loans to local early-stage enterprises with both a solid business case and a strong community impact model.
The VERGE Breakthrough Fund is Southwestern Ontario’s first impact investing fund providing growth capital to social and environmental enterprises.
Educating Our Community on Impact Investing
VERGE Capital builds awareness about social enterprise and impact investing through speaking engagements, classes and events.Learn more
Knowledge Sharing & Consultations
The VERGE Capital team supports local nonprofits and other communities as they explore and implement social finance initiatives, such as community bonds, sharing our expertise and learnings.Work with our team
VERGE Capital is a collaboration of regional partners, led by Pillar Nonprofit Network. Acting as the backbone organization, Pillar staff leverage their expertise in social enterprise & social finance to lead VERGE Capital. We are supported by experienced advisors from traditional investment, entrepreneurial initiatives, financial institutions, and community partners.
VERGE is a program of Pillar Nonprofit Network in collaboration with Libro Credit Union, London Community Foundation, Sisters of St. Joseph and SVX.
VERGE also partners with the local entrepreneurship ecosystem as well as national and provincial experts to leverage existing infrastructure and best-practice approaches.
Funding provided in part by the Government of Ontario, London Community Foundation and the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham.