Sharp Solutions grew out of the question:
What stands in the way of community driven organizations delivering on their mission?
Having worked in and around the non profit and social enterprise sector for years, we’ve seen a lot of passion and great ideas wither on the vine of implementation.
We created Sharp Solutions to help make your community driven ideas bear fruit.
How We Work
Sharp Solutions is a microlending program designed to enhance the capacity of organizations to deliver on their mission based work with impact and purpose.
We lend organizations (non or for profit) relatively small amounts of funds ($8,000-$20,000) with relatively flexible repayment terms in order to assist with organizational development and capacity enhancement.
We teach organizations how to fish.
Who We Support
We want to fund and enhance Canadian organizations with purpose and impact, in particular those working toward:
- creating a healthier marine and terrestrial environment;
- protecting non-human animals;
- advancing or strengthening the rights of Indigenous peoples;
- developing more sustainable human development or economic growth models;
- advancing electoral reform at a local, provincial or federal level; and
- creating strengthened communities through art, sport or adventure.
Organizations we support include, but are not limited to:
- non profits
- social enterprises
Who Is Eligible?
We know that well-designed organizational structure and governance lead to efficient operations that deliver results. Thus, each recipient of a Sharp Solutions loan must either demonstrate a strong organizational business or strategic plan and/or good governance practices of its Board or Executive.
In addition to this, Sharp Solutions will be looking for the determinants of an effective organizational culture that can deliver on a business and/or strategic plan.
We assess the foregoing by:
- reviewing your existing strategic / business plan;
- reviewing your existing board policies / manual; and
- interviewing selected applicants’ staff and/or board about work culture, management and financial management.
If your organization is in need of assistance with strategic planning, a governance review or other internal audits, we and our partners are able to provide services to assist. These services may be delivered at two stages of your relationship with Sharp Solutions:
- in advance of receipt of a loan, in order to enhance your eligibility; and/or
- upon receipt of your loan, in order to further enhance your ability to deliver on your mission.
What Can The Loaned Funds Be Used For?
Once an application has been completed, organizational health demonstrated, and funds allocated to an organization, those funds can be used for a variety of capacity building activities including various planning processes, funding strategies, and communications training.
Our goal is to help leverage the power of your organization as a whole so that all your project work has enhanced capacity and success; we are not focused on or particularly interested in loaning funds for specific projects themselves.
“Vision without action is just a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”
Are you ready to take action on your vision?
Applications are closed now but please inquire if you are interested in future opportunities.
The Application Process
The call for proposals for the first cycle of Sharp Solutions loans was released in September 2014. The fund is currently at capacity and we are not accepting new applciations.
Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Email a request for an application form to solutions [at] sharpsix.com
- Applications will be reviewed by Sharp Solutions and its advisory group.
- If necessary, clarifying questions will be asked of applicants.
- Interviews will be set up with selected candidates.
- Candidates will notified of acceptance / refusal of their application.
“We’re grateful to Sharp Six for the financing support they have provided to help us finish Fractured Land, which will be completed this Spring 2015. Our team is very much looking forward to sharing the film with audiences over the coming year.” — Damien Gillis, Co-Director
See their site for screening location and times.
Sharp Solutions is helping Gentle Earth Products, a green skin & home care products social enterprise, go national.
You can help too! Visit their shop.
Sharp Solutions has supported the growth and success of Bikini Empire, which creates ethical, sweatshop free yet stylish and functional swimwear. These pieces are designed on Gabriola Island and sewn in Vancouver.