Photo of Neville © Courtesy of All Sorts Acres
Shifting the paradigm with a new path forward to sustained community change
Harvest Impact is a place-based social finance lending program offered by 10C Shared Space, a change-making organization dedicated to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the food, farm, and environment sectors in support of a circular economy transition.
Harvest Impact is helping purpose-driven individuals and businesses to build the circular economy in Southern Ontario and, through its collaboration with COIL, the Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad, across Canada.
The socially and environmentally sustainable businesses building the circular economy, one innovation at a time, are often led by community members from equity-deserving groups who don’t always qualify for financing through traditional institutions. Inspired by these entrepreneurs, the Harvest Impact team believes a sustainable future—in which everyone can thrive—is possible by centering the voices, ideas, and needs of these equity-deserving individuals and groups and providing access to funding and financing.
Harvest Impact achieves this through its developmental lending practices that take into account the borrower’s character-based attributes, values, community context, and potential social impact in addition to business plans, past financial history, and income projections. This approach ensures that investments that advance equity, diversity and inclusion are made to forward-thinking entrepreneurs who are committed and capable borrowers with the potential to create positive change.
Harvest Impact provides circular economy projects with risk-supported lending from $2,500 to $50,000 as well as access to other funding opportunities. To date, Harvest Impact has made loans to 14 enterprises totalling $215,000. Of those projects, 70 per cent are women-led.
Jennifer Osborn of All Sorts Acres in Ayton, Ontario, is one such leader, with a circular focus on using waste wool to build soil health. Less than three per cent of Canada’s yearly wool clip is suitable for fine textiles. In addition to diverting wool from landfill by producing insoles, rugs, sponges and pet products, All Sorts Acres received a loan from Harvest Impact to purchase one of the first small-scale pelletizers in Southern Ontario. The end product, waste wool pellets, can improve soil health and reduce the amount of water, fertilizers and pesticides needed for agricultural growth.
Delivering on impact is essential to creating environmental, social and economic change and is an important aspect of Harvest Impact’s mission. By aligning impact measurement with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), circular economy businesses can connect how their activities contribute to the global effort to create a more sustainable and equitable world.
Harvest Impact’s tailored social lending and mentorship programs can help you overcome barriers to financing and grow your circular economy business. Connect at harvestimpact.ca
If you are aligning your portfolio to invest in impact, learn about Harvest Impact’s Circular Community Bond—an investment that provides a financial return and creates meaningful environmental and social change—launching in May 2023. Connect at email@example.com
The development of Harvest Impact by 10C was made possible in part through the Smart Cities Challenge initiative, which is being developed collaboratively with the City of Guelph and the County of Wellington and is funded by the Government of Canada through Infrastructure Canada and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.