Initiated in 1997 by the Chantier de l’économie sociale and several private partners, the Réseau d’investissement social du Québec (RISQ) is the first non-profit venture capital fund in Québec dedicated exclusively to the social economy.

Since its inception, RISQ has proved its relevance time and again by assisting numerous enterprises as they assemble their financing packages. It has contributed over the years to a flowering of projects that have positively impacted their communities.


The Summit on the Economy and Employment brings the private and social economy sectors together. Observing the lack of available resources adapted to the realities of social economy enterprises, the idea of creating an investment fund dedicated solely to this category of enterprises was brought forward.

Adoption of an action plan for the development of the social economy. The National Assembly adopts a definition of the social economy.


Launch of the Fonds de développement de l’économie sociale (today known as RISQ), an initiative of the Chantier de l’économie sociale supported by the business community and the provincial government.

First subscription by a private company

The Fund’s first investment: the Garderie du carrefour, still operating today under the name of the CPE du Carrefour.


The Fonds de développement de l’économie sociale becomes the Réseau d’investissement social du Québec

Subscription Committee is formed

Two intervention areas are established: Capitalization and Technical Assistance

First designated representatives for Technical Assistance: CLD Hautes Laurentides and SADC de la MRC d’Antoine-Labelle


After two years of operation, RISQ has invested $1,145,020 in 50 enterprises, resulting in the creation of 760 jobs.

100th investment: l’École entreprise Formétal inc. www.formetal.qc.ca

According to a study conducted by SECOR, every dollar invested by RISQ generates 10 dollars in the community. That same dollar generates five dollars for the government, proving the potential of the social economy.

Creation of RISQ’s first website

Formation of a committee of experts in the financing of social economy enterprises, initiated by RISQ, to produce a guide for the analysis of social economy enterprises. The committee is initially composed of the Caisse d’économie Desjardins des travailleuses et travailleurs de Québec, Fondaction, Investissement-Québec, Mouvement Desjardins, and the Ministère de l’Industrie et du Commerce.

France-Québec agreement enabling videoconferencing to share expertise and field practices.


Creation of a partnership with the McConnell Foundation to coordinate the Québec section of the Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program (CEDTAP), a pan-Canadian program dedicated to reinforcing community economic development skills and initiatives.

Creation of a France-Québec joint initiative, Partenaires de l’analyse financière pour les outils solidaires (PAFOUS), for the transfer of expertise and sharing of financial analysis and support models for social and solidarity economy initiatives.

Partnership agreement with Filaction to establish a coordinated effort to provide capitalization to social economy and solidarity enterprises, using the capital of partners as leverage to develop or attract the participation of startup funds.

Tour of Québec regions with three other major Québec-wide networks—Chantier de l’économie sociale, ARUC, and CSMO-ESAC—to raise awareness of advances in the social economy and the provincial tools that support it.


Establishment of a partnership with the Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation (CWCF) to coordinate the Fonds d’investissement pour les cooperatives de travail (FICT) in Québec.

Association with FondAction to set up the Fonds de financement coopératif (FFC), providing investments of $100,000 to $250,000 in collective enterprises. This fund would be administered by FilAction.

Participation of RISQ in the steering committee of the Alliance de recherches université communautés (ARUC-ÉS) and partnership with other groups to set up the Chantier d’activités partenariales (CAP) on financing, composed of the Chantier de l’économie sociale and representatives of the FTQ, FSFTQ, CSN, and FondAction. RISQ and a distinguished researcher from Concordia University, Margie Mendell, co-direct this committee, composed of roughly 20 university researchers and field practitioners.


Celebration of RISQ’s 5th anniversary! Some 400 individuals from partner networks testify to RISQ’s stature as a key actor of the social economy.

RISQ takes up residence in the new Maison de l’économie sociale.

Formation of a Comité des Gouverneurs headed by Lucien Bouchard and composed of 17 distinguished individuals from various fields, the main purpose of which is to establish contacts with potential subscribers.

Left to right: Gérald Larose, Jean-Pierre Nepveu, Nancy Neamtan, Lucien Bouchard, Maurice Prud’homme, Claudette Carbonneau, Clément Guimond, Léopold Beaulieu, Gaétan Morency, Élise Tessier, Claude Béland, His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Christian Yaccarini

Partnership with Investissement Québec to improve the process for managing guarantees, ensuring that projects supported by RISQ obtain a loan guarantee.

Following an exploratory mission to Brazil, the creation of the France-Québec-Brazil project (PESO, Partenaires pour des Échanges Solidaires) to develop trading relationships among solidarity enterprises in Brazil, France, and Québec.

Publication of the Guide for Analysis of Social Economy Enterprises, to share the expertise developed by organizations and practitioners specialized in the financing of social and solidarity economy in Québec.


Establishment of training sessions to accompany the Guide for Analysis of Social Economy Enterprises and production of educational tools for the use of analysts and advisors of collective enterprises.

RISQ tours the regions to meet with local and regional development and social economy actors, strengthen ties, and discuss the capitalization and financing of social economy enterprises.

Sharing of expertise with delegations from Belgium, Cuba, Japan, and Spain.


After eight years of operation, 397 projects have been supported, representing a total of $8.8 million. These investments allowed for the creation and maintenance of 4,660 jobs.

A team of experienced financial analysts criss-cross Québec to provide personalized and full technical services to enterprises in RISQ’s portfolio undergoing a period of crisis.


Signing of an agreement with the new entity, the Chantier de l’économie sociale Trust. Under the agreement, RISQ assumes responsibility for the analysis and follow-up of projects submitted to the Trust for financing.

2007 - 2008

Launch of the Chantier de l’économie sociale Trust

10 years after opening its doors, RISQ has participated in 484 financing projects for social economy enterprises in the form of technical assistance and capitalization. These enterprises have contributed to the employment of 6,055 individuals by providing permanent, casual, and work integration positions.

2009 - 2010


A new logo for RISQ!

Launch of a new pre-startup fund for social economy enterprises thanks to a grant of $5 million from the Ministère des Affaires municipals, des Régions est de l’Occupation du Territoire (MAMROT).

Participation in the creation of CAP Finance, Le Réseau de la Finance solidaire et responsible, whose main mission is to promote and develop socially responsible finance.

2011 - 2012

RISQ participates in the International Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy

In five years, RISQ has analyzed and conducted follow-up for 103 enterprise projects for the Chantier de l’économie sociale Trust.

RISQ becomes a partner of the first edition of the Génie de l’économie sociale contest, organized by the FDEM. The goal of the contest is to promote the marketing of new products and services and encourage the emergence of new processes that will give a competitive edge to participating enterprises.

Two Korean delegations, including representatives of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, learn about our financing model.

In 15 years, over $17.9 million has been invested in 755 projects, enabling the creation or maintenance of 5,967 jobs


Partnership with the Fonds d’investissement de la culture et des communications
(FICC), entrusting RISQ with the mandate of analyzing financing applications.

RISQ partners with Canadian foundations to support the creation of the New Market Funds Society, whose mission is to invest in social economy enterprises and community organizations as a means of generating measurable social and environmental impacts while making a financial return.

2014 - 2015

New bid and performance surety product created by RISQ and the Chantier de l’économie sociale Trust in partnership with the Caisse d’Économie solidaire Desjardins (CECOSOL). The aim is to equip social economy enterprises seeking public procurement contracts for their goods or services.

The Caisse issues the required bank guarantees and RISQ and the Chantier Trust authorize a surety bond. The Ministère de l’Économie, des Sciences et de l’Innovation reinject $10 million to support RISQ in pursuing its mission.

Signature of regional partnership agreements. The CDEC de Québec, Coopérative de développement régional Outaouais-Laurentides, and CDEC de Sherbrooke become delegated representatives for RISQ.

In 18 years, RISQ has supported 738 collective enterprises with investments of over $24 million, enabling the creation or maintenance of 8,432 jobs.


Participation in the Tournée des regions, initiated by the Chantier de l’économie sociale, to discuss and consider a Québécois economic and social development model with key regional development actors.

Participation in the GSEF (Global Social Economy Forum), including hosting international delegations from Korea, Belgium, and Mali.

Signature of regional partnership agreements. ECOF-CDEC Trois-Rivières and Atena coopérative de travail become RISQ’s delegated representatives.

Agreement with the Fondation Béati to guarantee RISQ’s loans to collective enterprises.


Unveiling of the findings of a social and economic impact study of RISQ investments conducted by ESG UQAM and E&B Data, during the Soirée des bâtisseurs du RISQ.

For highlights of the study:


To read the message from honorary president, Nancy Neamtan:

RISQ Soirée 20 ans- Nancy Neamtan

Launch of the 2nd edition of the Guide for Analysis of Social Economy Enterprises during the Forum Défis communs, solutions collectives. Project conducted jointly with CAP Finance and with the help of a committee of solidarity finance experts.

RISQ is 20 years old!


Deployment of the Regional Tour of the Chantier de l’économie sociale’s financial tools and the training offer on the Guide for Analysis of Social Economy Enterprises in collaboration with the Pôles d’économie sociale.

Philippe Garant, Executive Director, is assuming
the chairmanship of CAP Finance.

Participation GSEF Bilbao

Agreement with Social Enterprise Ecosystem Project offering a $200,000 fund (S4ES) to improve our financing offer to social enterprises.


November 7 – Launch of the RISQ’s Relay Agents Network

Throughout Quebec, organizations working to promote, mobilize and consult on the development of the social economy are joining the RISQ’s Relay Agents Network to pool their expertise to support collective enterprise projects.

All the details: https://fonds-risq.qc.ca/reseau-de-relayeurs-du-risq/?lang=en 


January 2020 – Mandate of analysis for Investment Readiness Program

98 projects were analyzed and presented to the financing committees of the IRP by RISQ’s team of financial analysts. To learn more about the 90 files accepted :


Septembre 2020 – Mandate of analysis for Canadian Co-Operated Fund

As a pan-Canadian fund is entering the province, the RISQ team is analyzing applications from Quebec.


December 2020 – Announcement of the granting of $11.5M to RISQ from  Plan d’Action Gouvernemental en Économie Sociale (PAGES) 2020-2025  for the deployment of financial tools adapted to the revival of social economy enterprises.




January 2021 – Analysis and coordination mandate for the new fund Initiative Immobilière Communautaire du Grand Montréal



April 2021 – Two new financial products have been introduced,  Transition Fund and the FICES.