Glossary

The following are the NAFC’s definitions of each term.

Social Purpose Organization: A social purpose organization (SPO) is an organization that is not centred on monetary profit and is advancing a social, cultural or environmental mission. A SPO can be a charity, non-profit, social enterprise, co-operative, or for- profit social enterprise. For the purposes of the IRP, the NAFC considers all NAFC-member FCs and PTAs to be social purpose organizations. 

Social Economy: Friendship Centres play an important role in the social economy. The NAFC is adopting wording from Chantier de l’économie sociale regarding the definition of social economy. For the NAFC-funded component of the IRP, the NAFC will consider all economic activities with a social purpose carried out by FCs who either operate or own for-profit enterprises, whose activities consist of the sale or exchange of goods or services with the purpose of meeting the needs of urban Indigenous community members or the community as a whole.

Social Enterprise: A social enterprise is a business, whether independent or owned by an organization, that is mission-driven, aiming to sell goods or services to earn a revenue, while also helping achieve positive social, cultural or environmental objectives. FCs often operate social enterprises as either a subsidiary business or operate the social enterprise directly in addition to its non-profit work. As social enterprises, the revenue generated from FC-owned businesses should support the delivery of services or the overall mission of the FC itself.

Social Finance: Social finance is an investment that has a positive social, cultural or environmental impact that also generates some return for investors. Through loans and investments, social finance can give FCs access to opportunities to create new streams of revenue and in turn sustain the missions of FCs.

Social innovation: Social innovation supports new solutions to pressing social, cultural and environmental concerns. However, many of the social innovations that are developed by Indigenous communities and organizations are not necessarily new but rather are drawn from Indigenous principles and ways of knowing. In some situations, a social innovation may include the resurgence of an Indigenous way of knowing, practice, or approach to a contemporary matter.

Investment Readiness: Under the IRP, the NAFC seeks to support FCs and PTAs with acquiring skills, knowledge, techniques that, once mastered and implemented within the Friendship Centre movement, will move down the readiness spectrum and increase preparedness for financial investment in FC social enterprises. In preparing for investment, FCs can adopt approaches related to new entrepreneurial projects and new tools to attract new investment to increase the impact of their social mission.