VICIC is pleased to announce the release of ‘Social Investment Activities and Needs Assessment for Vancouver Island,’ a VICIC Community Engagement Report compiled by Dr. Ana María Peredo and her UVic Environmental Studies 406 Class. Through this partnership, Dr. Peredo’s students were able to give their learning real-world application, while producing a 240-page report addressing an important line of inquiry for VICIC: whether there are gaps in social impact investing in the Vancouver Island region, and whether VICIC has a role in addressing them.
Drawing together work from seven student groups (each focusing on one subregion of Vancouver Island), the report analyzes a variety of organizations that provide services and investment entities in four chosen sectors: food, affordable housing, renewable energy, and Indigenous issues. The Executive Summary concludes that “there is a need for equity funds with modest and slow financial returns” and “a co-op has the advantage of tapping into local, regional and national co-ops networks.” While it was “beyond [the study’s] scope to look at the feasibility of VICIC in mobilizing local funds…it seems that there is a need for more funds to meet the current challenges.”
Read the substantial undergraduate undertaking here: VICIC Community Engagement Report
VICIC was also delighted to hear the following feedback from the students:
“VICIC’s efforts for mobilizing local citizen’s funds to support local efforts have inspired us. We—a UVic class on Alternative Economies for Social Transformation—are grateful to the VICIC board members for providing us with the opportunity to work on this study. It offered a sense of purpose and hope to many students who felt they could do something for others in the midst of the COVID -19 pandemic. In the words of one student: ‘learning about local organizations and community-based initiatives has been very eye-opening and allowed me to see the network of organizations and individuals who work together across Vancouver Island to support local communities.'”