Community Impact Investment

BC Community Impact Investment-Co-op - Start Up Guide

At Kootenay Employment Services Society (KES), we strive to create poverty reduction through innovative employment and community development services. Since 2012, KES has been actively engaged in the community impact investment sector in British Columbia and Canada. We understand that access to capital is a top barrier for rural businesses during their start-up, growth and succession phases. Locally-owned small businesses are the backbone of our economies as they provide meaningful employment opportunities and resilient communities. At KES, we’ve been catalyzing partnerships between community and business organizations to establish a financial ecosystem that supports economies with three fundamental pillars: social, environmental and economic.

Since 2012, KES led the research, development and incorporation of British Columbia’s first rural Community Investment Co-op and has since assisted with the incorporation of two more. In total, these three Community Investment Co-ops serve the 44 communities of the Kootenay-Boundary region. KES is also a member of the BC Community Impact Investment Coalition, which is a practitioner learning community and the advocacy voice for local investment programming in British Columbia. We’ve been working closely with this Coalition, its provincial support organizations, and the provincial and federal governments to create a framework for community impact investment. We truly believe that the Community Impact Investment model will be one of the key tools to democratize and localize investment, in turn helping to solve some of today’s most complex issues at the local level.

Community Impact Investment organizations have successfully financed ventures across Canada that generate significant local impacts. This includes affordable housing, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and food production, locally-owned small business development, clean technology, and community economic development initiatives.

Community Impact Investment organizations have successfully financed ventures across Canada that generate significant local impacts. This includes affordable housing, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and food production, locally-owned small business development, clean technology, and community economic development initiatives.

As a registered charity with no core funding, we appreciate the kind support of our donors. If you’d like to donate and help us continue our work, please email our Executive Director at hg@kes.bc.ca


The BC Community Impact Investment sector has been funded in part and supported by: