Practitioners of CED and social enterprise know how to scale up their innovations, away from the margins and into the mainstream of Canadian life. What they may not know is that, to achieve scale, five major tools all need to be deployed simultaneously and over extended periods of time.
CED organizations need to take control of the evaluation issue. Governments, foundations, and corporations will only increase their support if there are demonstrable outcomes and if the benefits outweigh the costs. Innovators must replicate and disseminate ideas, values and tools within the sector, so they become the basis for collaboration between leading groups. (The McConnell Foundation is an excellent resource in this respect.) The engagement of public and private organizations in CED and social enterprise through policies of ethical and sustainable procurement is also essential.
A fourth, well-known tool is public policy. Its importance has risen with the shifts in political responsibilities that are occurring between different levels of government. CED leaders must be ready to engage effectively at all three levels in the years ahead.
Finally, scaling up depends on new opportunities in financing. This includes investments by foundations, endowments, and pension funds, microcredit, and other forms of social finance. Salient examples are the Enterprising Non-Profits Program, the Québec Social Economy Trust, and the Nova Scotia CED Investment Funds Program.