Pillar Nonprofit Network

Pillar Nonprofit Network

Pillar Nonprofit Network is dedicated to enhancing the operational capabilities of the impact sector. They connect the three pillars: nonprofit, business and government — to create community impact and spark innovation. 

"Pillar non profit network logo"

Libro has been a supporter of Pillar for more than 15 years.

Our partnership has grown over the years to create community impact in London & Middlesex and to be a catalyst for social innovation across southwestern Ontario. Libro proudly supported the Pillar Community Innovation Awards in celebrating how individuals, organizations and enterprises invested in positive community impact in our region. 

Understanding that capital isn’t enough to empower social entrepreneurs to succeed, Libro has collaborated with Pillar in creating a strong ecosystem of wraparound support, coaching and connections for these entrepreneurs.   

Through the Libro Social Enterprise incubator, participants learn from subject matter experts and from fellow social entrepreneurs as they develop a sustainable model for their social enterprise.  

Over 100 entrepreneurs have been supported through the incubator since 2017.

Key highlights of the program: 

  • 10 weeks of social enterprise & business development workshops 
  • 5 hours of 1:1 social enterprise coaching 
  • Monthly networking / group coaching sessions 
  • 12 months free access to Innovation Works 
  • 12 months free Pillar Nonprofit Network membership 
  • 2 vouchers to attend free Learning & Development sessions
  • Up to $200 allowance to be used towards eligible expenses
  • Access to business plan templates & other social enterprise resources 

 

Learn more about Pillar

VERGE CAPITAL

VERGE Capital is a social finance program of Pillar Nonprofit Network in collaboration with  Libro Credit Union, London Community Foundation, Sisters of St. Joseph, and SVX. The program supports local economies and communities across Southwestern Ontario by investing in social enterprises who are committed to doing the same. 

Learn more about Verge

Empowering social enterprises to do well by doing good.

START UP FUND

Provides loans to local, early-stage social enterprises with both a solid business case and a strong community impact model. The VERGE Startup Fund lending pool was established through grants to Pillar Nonprofit Network, with administrative support by Libro Credit Union. To date the VERGE Startup Fund has loaned over $725,000 in local capital to support 16 social enterprises. Libro has partnered with Pillar on this initiative since 2015. 

 

BREAKTHROUGH FUND

Breakthrough Fund is Southwestern Ontario’s first impact investing fund, providing growth capital to social enterprises. 

 In 2018, Pillar Nonprofit Network and SVX – in partnership with local partners and collaborators, including Libro, established the VERGE Breakthrough Fund to demonstrate that investors can earn a financial return while creating significant community impact.   

A total of 20 individuals and organizations participated in the Breakthrough Fund, investing over $2.2 million. The closed seven-year fund has since been fully deployed into a diversified portfolio of established social enterprises and community infrastructure such as green energy projects, nature conservation, affordable housing developments, and innovation and entrepreneurship hubs. 

Learn more about Libro’s other partnerships