en - Friendship Centres prepared to innovate in new round of Investment Readiness Program

OTTAWA – The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) unveiled its plan today for Friendship Centres (FCs), Provincial / Territorial Associations (PTAs), and other urban Indigenous social purpose organizations (SPOs) to benefit from a new wave of funding from the Investment Readiness Program (IRP).


The NAFC will support and encourage the growth and readiness of FCs, PTAs, and other urban Indigenous SPOs to join the social innovation and social finance ecosystem. The NAFC aims through IRP funding to: increase FC, PTA, and urban Indigenous SPO engagement in the social finance ecosystem, enhance capacity to develop enterprises to help support service delivery and advance their respective missions, increase accessibility to expert advice and information, and advance FCs, PTAs, and urban Indigenous SPOs toward investment readiness.


“Having supported Friendship Centres in developing, starting, and growing their social enterprises in the first years of the Investment Readiness Program, we are eager to continue this work as well as to expand the Program’s impact to other urban Indigenous social purpose organizations from coast to coast to coast,” said Jocelyn Formsma, NAFC Executive Director, “Urban Indigenous community organizations are leaders in the social economy, and we hope to facilitate the growth of these institutions and the collective intergenerational wealth of urban Indigenous communities.”


The IRP is a $50 million program taking place over two years as part of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s Social Innovation and Social Finance strategy, first announced in 2019. The NAFC was part of the pilot program from 2019 and 2021, distributing $1.12 million in non-repaying capital to social enterprise projects operated by FCs and PTAs across Canada. The NAFC is one of four Readiness Support Partners selected by ESDC to administer the new round of the IRP.


Interested Friendship Centres, Provincial / Territorial Associations, and other urban Indigenous SPOs should visit the NAFC website for more information on how to apply and what projects are eligible for IRP funding. A listing of previous projects successfully funded in previous phases of the IRP will also be available.



Bridget Bowman
Communications, Policy and Research Manager


The National Association of Friendship Centres is a network of over 100 Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations, which make up part of the Friendship Centre Movement–Canada's most significant national network of self-determined Indigenous owned and operated civil society community hubs offering programs, services and supports to urban Indigenous people.