As cooperative financial institutions, credit unions provide products and services that are similar to those offered by the nation’s chartered banks, but they also offer other strategies with embedded social considerations. For example, credit unions across the country offer microfinancing and community -investment products, and frequently lend to borrowers such as non-profit organizations which might not otherwise qualify for favourable terms with mainstream financial institutions. Credit unions also offer a range of impact investment -investing products, the most popular of which are debt financing to non-profit organizations and microfinancing for individual borrowers. Credit unions also tend to offer financing to sectors like affordable housing.
Source : Impact Investing in Canada – State of the Nation 2014 , pp.25-26
Vancity Resilient Capital Program
The Vancity Resilient Capital™ is an example of a deposit-based product which enables that provides depositors a way to fund high – impact social enterprises with minimal risk over terms of five, six or seven years. Resilient Capital™ is committed to enhancing the social, economic, and environmental well-being of communities by providing patient, flexible capital to eligible social enterprises and blended-value businesses. The program helps organizations grow by affording giving them access to financial capital that is not readily available through commonly provided by other financial institutions.
Assiniboine Credit Union (ACU)
The ACU approach to impact investment comprises two components. On the one hand, ACU caters to the needs of underserved individuals, organizations and communities. On the other, ACU finances organizations and projects which deliver positive social, environmental and economic returns to communities. ACU has two components to its approach to impact investment: serving underserved individuals, organizations and communities, and financing organizations and projects that are delivering positive social environmental and economic returns to the community.
ACU members seeking to invest in the community may also purchase a Jubilee Investment Certificate. The Jubilee Fund Inc. is a Winnipeg-based community investment fund which helps to finance community businesses, housing projects and social services designed to enhance community well-being. Through a special arrangement, ACU administers the Investment Certificates on behalf of the Jubilee Fund.