We were thrilled to conclude the training phase and initial evaluation of our ground-breaking Essential Skills Social Finance (ESSF) project, which ended on a very positive note. The project was the first of its kind to leverage social impact bonds in order to finance essential skills training for vulnerable and unemployed Canadians. That initial training phase, which was offered by Douglas College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Confederation College, concluded this year with 88% of participants achieving measurable skills improvements.
This positive outcome allowed the private investors involved to recuperate 96% of their original investment. The success of this outcome-based public-private partnership approach also marks an important step for the Government of Canada, as well as impact investors, not-for-profit organizations, and other governments seeking to develop programs with measurable social impact for Canada’s most vulnerable populations.