Second Social Finance Awards an Evening of Recognition and Networking

Left to right, Ellen Martin and Trish Nixon of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing are seen here during the second annual Social Finance Awards.

Second Social Finance Awards an Evening of Recognition and Networking

'It’s really our annual celebration of amazing social ventures and really exciting developments in social finance': Ellen Martin

TORONTO - The TMX Broadcast Centre in downtown Toronto was buzzing with excitement Thursday evening during the second annual Social Finance Awards hosted by and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.

About 60 movers and shakers from across Canada’s social-finance sector were at the event, entitled Progress & Possibility: Building a Market for Impact.

The event combined an awards ceremony with networking opportunities, and also provided time for eight organizations involved with social ventures to showcase their ideas and success stories with quick, informative “elevator pitches.”
Looking around the room, attendees were spotted at every turn exchanging business cards and discussing their work with others; it's obvious the attendees love their involvement in the sector.

“It’s really our annual celebration of amazing social ventures and really exciting developments in social finance,” says Ellen Martin, education and engagement fellow at the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, one of the event’s organizers.

Ellen underscores the importance of the day, which included an afternoon celebration of the culmination of Impact8, a social-finance accelerator program aimed at helping high-potential social ventures achieve their goals.

“So often we don’t take the opportunity to stop and recognize people for their awesome work and this was the opportunity to do that.”

Organizer Trish Nixon, an associate at the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and Impact8 co-ordinator, says “Progress & Possibility” is the perfect name for the event.

“We have this awesome group of social ventures; early-stage companies with so much to prove and with so much ahead of them, (as well as) some more established players in the field and celebrating (both groups) on the same night,” she says.

Trish says what excites her about the event is the fact it brings so many people with varied interests together.

“Having government people here, having private-sector people here, having investors who may be a little bit skeptical about these social businesses but are still showing up to learn more — they’re all here in one room,” she says.

Here are the recipients of this year’s Social Finance Awards:

Most Promising Social Finance Collaboration: Rise Asset Development. Runners-up: Microloan Fundand Sarona Asset Management

Excellence awards: Vancity (community development), Schulich School of Business at York University (sector talent building), Edmonton Community Foundation (mission investing)

You can comment on this story below, or e-mail deron(at)

A version of this article was originally written for the Enterprising Non-profits Canada news service. This repost, for which we received permission, follows the style guidelines of the original post. To learn more about generative newsroom options for your organization or community, please contact peter(at)

Writer Bio

Deron Hamel's picture
Deron Hamel

Deron joined Axiom News in March 2007, having previously worked as a news reporter for print, online and wire services. He serves as Axiom News’ long-term care pod lead, after several years of writing stories and editorials for our clients in that sector. An award-winning advocacy journalist, Deron has seen first-hand the strengths long-term care brings to the greater health-care sector and through his work he seeks to share successes and best practices.

Reprint This Story

Axiom News content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Stories may be reprinted in their entirety with permission and when appropriately credited.

Please contact Axiom News at
1-800-294-0051 for more information.