SCP was founded with independent funding in 2001, by business entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Young. Since then, we have been seeking better solutions to the question of accessible employment for those at a disadvantage. While our tactics and activities have evolved over time, our mission is unwavering.
From the outset, our work centered on venture philanthropy and social finance – investment models that deliver social benefits, as well as economic returns. In our first five years, we facilitated access to financing and provided advisory services to build and scale social enterprises, which are businesses that integrate a social mission directly into their operations. In this phase, we helped establish and scale a portfolio of profitable social enterprises across Canada, including:
Atira Property Management (Vancouver) – Employs women who are victims of violence
Inner City Renovations (Winnipeg) – Employs urban aboriginal persons
Turnaround Couriers (Toronto) – Employs at-risk youth
Renaissance (Montreal) – Hires directly from provincial social assistance programs
The creation of our Community Employment Loan program in 2006 emerged as a way to engage traditional private sector players in the achievement of greater social impact and scale. Through the program, we facilitate access to subordinate debt financing for franchisees and small business owners. Loan rates are tied directly to employment outcomes; for every person hired through an employment service provider, the interest rate on the loan is reduced.
Corporate Community Hiring
In 2010, we realized that many Canadian employers didn’t need the incentive of a lower interest rate to hire those at a disadvantage – they just needed to see that using employment and training providers is a viable, competitive recruitment channel. We piloted innovative programs with a number of leading Canadian employers, achieving excellent interview-to-hire ratios. But we also saw retention in these programs fall short, due to the lack of required pre-employment training and post-hire support.
At this point, we’d learned two key things: (1) Employers would utilize the employment and training system if it was easy and efficient for them; and (2) It isn’t easy or efficient. The reason is that the system at large has never been designed to see the employer as a customer. We realized we were playing a band-aid role and could have more impact if we worked at the systems level.
Demand-Led Systems Change
And so, in 2012, we expanded our focus to demand-led systems change. To find better ways of preparing job seekers to meet employer needs, we are bringing employers to the heart of the system, inviting them as partners in the design, delivery, and evaluation of training and development programs.
Today, SCP is continuing to explore new solutions that can drive even greater, more scalable access to employment for those at a disadvantage.
Prior to founding Social Capital Partners in 2001, Bill spent twenty years in the private sector leading high growth, entrepreneurial organizations. He was CEO of Hamilton Computers, a publicly traded company that grew from $15 million to $250 million under his leadership and was sold to GE Capital. Bill was also the CEO and subsequently the Chairman of Optel Communications Corp. (later Axxent). Bill began his career as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young and holds an Honours BA from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He currently sits on a variety of boards for social enterprises and community organizations, and is a member of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance. In 2013, Bill was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to Canadian society and his innovative achievements as a social entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Magnus combines an entrepreneurial spirit and focus on innovation, with a wealth of experience from the private sector. Prior to Social Capital Partners, he held the role of divisional director of operations at Constellation Software during a time of rapid acquired and organic growth (from $150M to $538M). A native of Sweden, Magnus has worked and lived throughout Europe, North America and Australia in his previous roles with Autoliv and Accenture. He holds a Masters in Engineering and a degree in business, studying at universities in Sweden, the U.S., Austria and France. He sits on various investment committees for venture funds and advisory boards. A passionate competitive sailor, Magnus is currently ranked #1 in match racing in Canada.
Judy works with our private, public and non-profit partners to design and test demand-led workforce development solutions. She brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the staffing industry, managing operational budgets of over $75M and designing and implementing national programs for RBC, HP, and TD Bank. Judy began her career with Metro Community Services. She has presented at the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals conference and the Workforce Development Knowledge Exchange, was a mentor with MaRS Impact 8, and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Employer Demand-Driven Training Project. Judy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario.
Jocelyn facilitates the partnerships between community agencies and small business owners as part of the Community Employment Loan Program. Her dual role also includes managing all office finances and operations. With over ten years’ experience in client focused roles, in both the private and non-profit sectors, Jocelyn is an expert at relationship building. Her educational background includes diplomas in both Photography and Business Administration Management. She excels in both these areas and this is reflected in the unique balance of creativity and business logic she brings to her role. Jocelyn’s passions include photography and art, as well as organizing a fundraising event each year for a local charity.
Our Advisory Board includes:
Richard W. Ivey
Roger L. Martin