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RBC invests $700,000 in Social Capital Partners' Community Employment Loan Portfolio

Low interest loans help entrepreneurs provide job opportunities for disadvantaged groups

TORONTO, March 17, 2014 /CNW/ - In a move to improve employment opportunities for youth and disadvantaged groups in Canada, RBC is investing in Social Capital Partners' (SCP) Community Employment Loan portfolio. RBC Generator, the investment arm of RBC's Social Finance initiative, has purchased $250,000 of the portfolio and has made an additional commitment of $450,000 to SCP over the next three years.

Since its inception in 2001, SCP has been dedicated to discovering new and powerful ways to improve access to employment for those who are disadvantaged. Collaborating with publicly-funded employment service providers and private sector businesses, SCP develops innovative solutions that tackle the issues faced by both job seekers and employers.

Through the Community Employment Loan program, SCP facilitates access to low interest financing for entrepreneurs and small business owners who commit to hiring those at a disadvantage, including youth, new Canadians and people with disabilities. The terms of the Community Employment Loan are directly linked to outcomes: for every employee hired from a community partner, the interest rate on the loan decreases. Such financing attracts community-minded business owners who have a high number of entry-level positions with the potential for career growth and advancement. It's a win-win scenario: job seekers are offered opportunities for meaningful employment, while entrepreneurs gain access to attractive financing terms and motivated employees.

"By linking interest rates to employment outcomes, SCP is demonstrating how financial incentives can drive social good in a way that makes sense for business owners," said Sandra Odendahl, head, RBC's Social Finance initiative. "SCP is a leader in the social finance landscape in Canada, and through this initiative RBC hopes to further engage the private sector in using business to drive positive social impact."

"SCP is proud of RBC's involvement in this initiative," said Bill Young, founder and president of Social Capital Partners. "We view this as an important step to expand the use of community employment practices by Canadian business owners, helping to facilitate employment access to countless job seekers who face added obstacles in finding work. We believe this is a prime example of how social finance can be leveraged to engage the private sector and generate win-win solutions."

SCP has helped facilitate financing more than $3.5-million to entrepreneurs and small business owners across Ontario to date. RBC's involvement will be invaluable in making this type of financing more prevalent in the marketplace to scale social impact.

About Social Capital Partners
Social Capital Partners (SCP) is dedicated to discovering new and powerful ways to improve access to employment for those who find themselves at a disadvantage. Working closely with key players in the public, private and non-profit sectors, SCP aims to design, ignite, and prove new models that benefit job seekers and employers -- sharing what works with strategic allies who can impact the most people. SCP is driven and guided by what will have the greatest impact on access to meaningful employment; the Community Employment Loan program is one result of this unique approach.

About RBC Social Finance
The RBC Social Finance initiative, launched in 2012, is a multi-million dollar commitment to help ignite social and environmental change through investment activity. This commitment includes the $10-million RBC Generator, a pool of capital dedicated to financing enterprises addressing social and environmental challenges; a significant investment of RBC Foundation assets into socially responsible investments; and strategic partnerships to catalyze the growth of social finance in Canada. RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, and one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations. For more information, visit www.rbc.com/socialfinance.


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