RENEW Strategies

Social Finance in Toronto

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Erin O'Connor
| December 4, 2018

At the beginning of November, RENEW team members Erin O’Connor and Justin Reesor had the opportunity to attend the Social Finance Forum in Toronto, Ontario hosted by MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. This conference was a packed three days with interesting conversations with some of the leading experts in social finance. The forum brings awareness to the growing field of impacting investing/ social finance and addresses how profits should be paired with purpose in today’s changing landscape.

Here are a few of the highlights from the Social Finance Forum:

  • Impact Investing 101 for Accredited Investors – Erin and Justin attended this talk on the first day of the forum. It had great speakers, such as Bill Young (Social Capital Partners) and Marc Van Den Berg (DBL Partners), who spoke about how the Impact Investing space has evolved over the last 15-20 years and how there is a major push to incorporate this type of investing into every-day portfolios. Another speaker during this session was Danielle Gibbie, who is also an IAN Member and an IAN Advisory Board chair. She spoke about the challenges and opportunities many foundations face when choosing to incorporate impact investing into their portfolios.
  • On the second day, the lunchtime keynote speaker was Paul Lamontagne (FinDev Canada) who spoke about the ever evolving role FinDev Canada is playing in the impact investing space on an international scale. He discussed the necessity to empower women in order to encourage change in developing countries and markets, and how FinDev Canada is hoping to help push that mission forward.

Overall, the week was filled with exciting keynote speakers, informative fireside chats, and great networking opportunities with other people in the space. To cap off the week, Justin and Erin hosted an Impact Angel Network lunch event at Bodega Restaurant, focused around the IAN and the work RENEW is doing in East Africa. They were joined by IAN Members, prospects, and a number of RENEW’s company partners including Convergence. Thanks to everyone who made the lunch event and the Social Finance Forum such a great success.

To find out more about RENEW or the IAN, contact us at, follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC or find us on Instagram @impactangelnetwork. Be sure to check out our upcoming events, including our upcoming Econ-Tourism Trip.