Holly Estabrook, shíshálh Nation, Salish Soils

& Impact

We are building a stronger, more resilient, and vibrant Sunshine Coast by investing in businesses that improve our community. We are developing and testing new programs, tools, and investing options to help you join the local impact investing movement on the Sunshine Coast.

Social Impact Investment – Turn Your Money Into Real Change

Impact Investing

As impact investors, we evaluate our financing activities on not just our financial risk, but also the broader environmental or social impacts of the

business. We offer added support and education to local businesses that integrate social and environmental goals into their products and services. If you have a for-profit business that aims to improve our community, please see LEAP! or meet with our Business Advisor

Why Invest Local

For decades, traditional personal investment options have limited what we can invest in and where, resulting in most of our savings being held in national and international bonds, stocks, and mutual funds. We believe more investment capital needs to stay on the Sunshine Coast where it can produce solid financial returns, create local jobs, and improve our community.

Each year, residents of the Sunshine Coast contribute millions of dollars into their RSP’s, TFSA’s, RESPS’s and RDSP’s. The majority of these investments leave our Coast, our province, and sometimes even Canada. This means the capital is not available to help our farmers buy new tractors; our tech companies to develop new software; our tradespeople to expand their fleet, or for our social enterprises to address pressing issues that exist in our community. Many of our local businesses remain under-financed, and struggle to access the capital they need to grow.

Imagine how we could support the Sunshine Coast economy by re-directing just a percentage of our investment portfolios back into our own communities. What if we built mechanisms to match local investors with passionate and able entrepreneurs who want to build businesses here, raise their families and contribute to our social fabric? And even better, what if our investors earned moderate to strong returns on their local investments over time? Community Futures, Rhiza Capital and the Sunshine Coast Credit Union are working together to help make this happen through their joint venture Rhiza Capital.

How does Rhiza Capital work?
Rhiza Capital is a joint venture between Community Futures Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Credit Union, and Powell River Community Investment Corporation. Rhiza Capital opens new financing channels for businesses on the Sunshine Coast that add economic, social, and financial value to our community. Rhiza Capital grows our local economy and healthy community by connecting root capital to impact ventures.

Through our partners in Rhiza Capital, Sunshine Coast residents can invest directly into the businesses where they work, live, and play. We’ve built the tools to invest locally because we agree with international experts like author and economist Michael Shuman who says that investing locally is one of the most powerful methods for revitalizing and supporting community economic development. Together we are putting our money where our life is. For more information, visit the Rhiza Capital website.

Download this handout.

Wondering if your business might benefit from an investment by Rhiza Capital?

Your venture might be a good fit if:

  • Your venture delivers value on an environmental, social,
    and financial return
  • You are interested in the additional support, encouragement,
    and resources gained through shared ownership,
    and You are either a

technology company,

an established business on the Sunshine Coast,
and interested in early stage financing to expand, or,

a community-based for-profit venture with strong social
or environmental returns.

For more information, visit the Rhiza Capital website. Or e-mail Brian Smith. Wondering what the difference is between debt and equity financing? Find out here.

Interested in learning more about connecting
community to impact investing?


Watch Brian Smith’s presentation
from Hopeful Economics 2017
at Simon Fraser University.



Strategic Partnerships

Community Futures Sunshine Coast builds meaningful, impact orientated partnerships on the Sunshine Coast to leverage our resources, create new opportunities, and share risk with other organizations. The projects below have evolved to be more than typical partnerships and sponsorship. They represent new legal and financial investments designed to strategically share our resources and improve our economy.

Gibsons Public Market
Community Futures is a founding partner, investor and a strong champion of the Gibsons Public Market. The Gibsons Public Market inspires and supports economic activities on the Sunshine Coast. The market is a destination for residents and visitors of all ages to convene and learn, laugh, enjoy local food, fresh produce, art and entertainment. The public market also houses a leading edge marine education centre, community and commercial kitchen, meeting facilities, and a restaurant.

Learn more here

Rhiza Capital
Rhiza Capital is a joint venture between Community Futures Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Credit Union, and Powell River Community Investment Corporation. Rhiza Capital opens new financing options for businesses on the Sunshine Coast which add economic, social, and financial value to our community. Rhiza Capital grows our local economy and healthy community by connecting root capital to impact ventures.

Learn more here

Sunshine Coast Community Investment Co-op
Community Futures and Rhiza Capital are founding partners in the Coast Community Investment Co-op. This member-owned investment co-operative pools its capital through the sale of shares in the co-operative, and invests into local social ventures. The co-op, registered with the provincial government as a for-profit co-operative, invests in local entrepreneurs with a business opportunity in need of investment.

Learn more here

Venture Connect
Many of the small businesses at the economic heart of our Coastal community were started by owners who are now thinking about retirement.

Recognising the importance of succession planning – of the needed support for our business owners wanting to retire or move on, and the desire for sound and beneficial businesses to remain in our small towns and rural areas Venture Connect was created by the Island Coastal Community Futures offices. It links potential business buyers to small business owners who are in the process of exiting their business.

Learn more here

For more information about the potential impacts of retiring small business owners in our towns watch Facing the Demographic Shift in Rural Business.


Impact Tool

Community Futures is piloting a modified loan method to set the interest rates and administration fees of our loans, called the Community Impact Tool (CI tool). It blends the financial risk of each loan, such collateral and credit rating, with the social and environmental impacts of the business receiving the loan to determine the interest rate and administrative fee.

The CI tool supports a vibrant and strong local community by encouraging businesses to contribute to the local community. Business that demonstrate a commitment to support the local community may benefit from lower interest rates and administration fees when their loan is approved by Community Futures Sunshine Coast.