About Community Futures Development Corporations

Community Futures is a dynamic, rural-based network of local community economic and business development organizations, located in every province and territory of Canada. Community Futures is a Government of Canada initiative designed to help communities develop and implement strategies for dealing with a changing economic environment. Communities receive support in creating a vision for the future by developing strong partnerships, opening up new investment opportunities, strengthening community capacity and fostering an environment that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish.

Community Futures Development Corporations exist in 61 rural and northern communities across Ontario. Each one is an independent, community-based not-for-profit organization, which is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors, composed of volunteers who live and work in the local community, and a team of skilled professionals who offer several key services. The three basic types of service offered by a CFDC are:
  1. Business services
  2. Access to capital (loans)
  3. Strategic community planning and development
  4. Support for community-based projects
Many CFDCs also deliver the ‘SEB’ program (Self-Employment Benefit) through a partnership with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). The SEB program offers business counseling and access to start up loans to qualified individuals while they continue to receive Employment Insurance. Of the 61 member CFDCs, 35 offer the SEB program.

CFDCs offer more than just loans – they create a positive environment, which leads to business success, through their counseling and business plan support. As an overall loan portfolio, Ontario CFDC clients demonstrate a less than 10% loan loss ratio, a circumstance that clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the decision-making system.

Between April 1986 and March 2009, Ontario CFDCs provided credit and other financial support totaling $898.3 million to over 23,300 businesses, which helped to create or maintain more than 102,900 jobs and leveraged $1.08 billion in owner’s equity and third party financing. In the last fiscal year alone (April 2007 to March 2008), CFDCs made loans worth almost $55 million that helped to create more than 6,435 new jobs in rural areas and Northern Ontario.

The four CFDCs that delivered the CTP program are contributors to the impressive statistics cited above. Since their inception, these 4 organizations have:
  • Loaned out over $38 million dollars to more than 600 businesses in their communities (over $3 million in 2004)
  • Helped create 1744 new businesses through the Self Employment Benefit program (160 in 2004). These businesses created at least 1 job each and in many instances scores more.
  • Supported 342 community projects and leveraged over $11 million for their communities


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© Community Transition Program 2009