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What Social Enterprises Can Learn From the UN
by Mina Jasarevic
on April 05, 2014

UN flag

Running in NGO circles, one is likely to come across some misgivings of UN activities. Granted, certain suspicion is warranted. The largest international organization is made up of people, and people make mistakes. Even so, most of these doubts can be attributed to inexperience.

 

The UN has six principal organs, home to subsidiary bodies, programmes, departments and offices. Unless one has direct working knowledge within the system, it’s tough to appreciate the operational culture and goals of individual divisions.

 

 
Getting Ahead By Investing From Within
by Kimberley Jutze
on March 10, 2014

Leaves on Tree, by digitalart @freedigitalphotos.net

 

“Keep your eye on the prize” is a common catch phrase that, for the social enterprise community, has come to mean staying focused on achieving your social change goal. Oftentimes, the decision to become a changemaker - and to accept all the sacrifices that come along with this choice - is driven by a life-changing experience that has altered how social entrepreneurs see the world and prompted them to take action.

 

From this perspective, it is understandable why social entrepreneurs are so passionate about their cause and devote so much of their attention to it.

 

However, there is a downside to being so strongly focused on achieving social change goals.

 
Seeing the Forest for the Tees: The Link Between Your Wardrobe and the World’s Forests
by Nicole Rycroft
on December 26, 2013

Canopy

 

I went shopping with a friend at Christmas who was searching for a gift for her 15 year old niece. Neither of us think of shopping as a recreational activity (I’d rather be surfing or at a matinee!), but there we were in a mall in the midst of the pre-Christmas rush, trying our best to imagine what would delight a teenage girl.

 

As my friend flipped through racks of colourful blouses and trendy skirts, I felt like the Grinch - stealing her gift choices away. Knowing the hidden costs behind that appealing 40% off price tag makes keeping quiet almost impossible.

 

 
Will Consumers Purchase From Social Enterprises? New Survey Shows Promise
by Suzanne N. Smith
on December 03, 2013

credit:  Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

This holiday season individuals will be typically generous and give their money and time to various charities. However, at the end of the year this largesse will account for only less than 2% of the gross domestic product in the United States (according to Giving USA 2012) and less than 1% in Canada (according to Imagine Canada).

 

 

When you compare this to how much both countries will spend this holiday season ($854 for average Americans according to the American Research Group Inc.), it is no surprise that nonprofits and for-profits are starting to strategize on how to capture more of this market.

 

 

 
How to Grow Your Garden - And Your Social Enterprise
by Verity Dimock
on November 14, 2013

community garden thorncliffe

This summer I helped build a community garden in Thorncliffe Park, one of Toronto’s most densely populated high rise communities on the Eastern side of the city, along the Don Valley.

 

The garden was a pilot project, to test whether the community could expand its local growing capacity with a completely pop-up solution.

 

What follows is a snapshot of my experience working in Thorncliffe this summer and some lessons learned in the very early stages of a project that we hope will provide the foundation for a food-based social enterprise down the road.

 

 

 
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