See the Toronto International Microfinance Summit page of Definitions here.

Blended Value
“Value is what gets created when investors invest and organizations act to pursue their missions…All organizations, for-profit and nonprofit alike, create value that consists of economic, social, and environmental components….Blended value is the recognition that capital, community, and commerce can create more than their sum and is less a math exercise of zero-sum pluses and minuses than a physics equation of an expanding universe of investments in organizations, people and planet.”
Source: Impact Investing: Transforming how we make money while making a difference. A. Bugg-Levine & J. Emerson. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco. 2011. 10-11.

Note: from page 7 of this book:
“We can no longer afford to waste capital and talent by organizing ourselves around the separate poles of financial return and social good, which forces us to play the middle against itself. Instead blended value offers a new way to integrate our activity around the recognition that we do not seek appropriate wealth or social justice, rather, we seek both.”

Community Benefits
These refer to the notion that the benefits of a given contract should be felt more broadly than by just the firm or organization that derives monetary gains in the form of cash payments…..
Source: Social blog, Harnessing the Value of Values. Sherri Torjman – November 15, 2011

Credit is buying things or borrowing money now and promising to pay in the future with interest. When you use credit, you have a debt to pay.
Source: Ottawa Community Loan Fund, Newcomer Finances Toolkit

Impact Investments
Impact investments are investments intended to create positive impact beyond financial return. As such, they require the management of social and environmental performance (for which early industry standards are gaining traction among pioneering impact investors) in addition to financial risk and return. We distinguish impact investments from the more mature field of socially responsible investments (“SRI”), which generally seek to minimize negative impact rather than proactively create positive social or environmental benefit.

Lending Circles – click here for PARO Circles and Loans page
Circle lending, also known as peer lending, harnesses the power of a group to provide very small loans for home-based businesses.The circle lending model – with an engaged chairperson, monthly meetings and regular contact with our community animator – is required.
Source: Vancity – Circle lending

Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low-income clients or solidarity lending groups including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services.
Source: Wikipedia
More definitions:

Microfinance Institution (MFI)
A microfinance institution (MFI) is an organization that provides financial services to the poor. This very broad definition includes a wide range of providers that vary in their legal structure, mission, and methodology. However, all share the common characteristic of providing financial services to clients who are poorer and more vulnerable than traditional bank clients.
Source: Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)

Formal providers are sometimes defined as those that are subject not only to general laws but also to specific banking regulation and supervision (development banks, savings and postal banks, commercial banks, and non-bank financial intermediaries). Formal providers may also be any registered legal organizations offering any kind of financial services. Semiformal providers are registered entities subject to general and commercial laws but are not usually under bank regulation and supervision (financial NGOs, credit unions and cooperatives). Informal providers are non-registered groups such as rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs) and self-help groups.

Social Enterprise
“revenue-generating social and/or environmental enterprises (whether run as a project, or as an incorporated entity) that are owned and operated by nonprofits or charities. Since there are no shareholders in a nonprofit organization, earned revenue is re-invested into the work of the organization to advance its mission.”
Source: Social Finance Census 2010: Executive Summary, Ontario Nonprofit Network & SVX | Social Venture Exchange, 4.

Social Finance
Social Finance is an approach to managing money that delivers social and/or environmental benefits, and in most cases, a financial return. Social finance encourages positive social or environmental solutions at a scale that neither purely philanthropic supports nor traditional investment can reach.

Social purpose businesses
Social ventures that are incorporated as for-profit businesses, but that have a defined social and/or environmental mission embedded into the DNA of their particular business.
Source: Social Finance Census 2010: Executive Summary, Ontario Nonprofit Network & SVX | Social Venture Exchange, 4.

Social ventures
refer to organizations and businesses with a prioritized social mission and earned income. In practice, this can include organizations incorporated across the spectrum, from quasi-governmental organizations to nonprofits and charities to cooperatives and businesses.
Source: Social Finance Census 2010: Executive Summary, Ontario Nonprofit Network & SVX | Social Venture Exchange, 4.


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