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Cross-Canada social enterprise check-up
by Nicole Zummach
on December 04, 2012
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Cross-Canada social enterprise check-up
Alberta & Manitoba
Quebec and Nova Scotia
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Canada Social Enterprise Check-up

Canada and its social enterprise sector will be in the spotlight next year when the country hosts the 2013 Social Enterprise World Forum in Calgary, October 2-4. As Canada’s first and only publication dedicated to social enterprise and entrepreneurship, we thought we’d give you an overview of what’s happening with the movement right now, and where things are headed in the year to come.


In October, we asked social enterprise leaders and innovators across the country to tell us how the social enterprise field is evolving in their region, what they are working on, and what’s on the horizon. Here are some of the highlights:


British Columbia introduces new hybrid corporation


from David Lepage, Team Manager at Enterprising Non-Profits (enp)


The most amazing effort impacting social enterprise in British Columbia is the implementation of the eleven recommendations developed by the Social Innovation Council, now transformed into the Social Impact Partners as a cross-sector stakeholder group focused on implementation in collaboration with the provincial government. Key issues evolving: new hybrid corporation 3C - Community Contribution Corporation; tax credits for social impact investors; social impact purchasing policy; access to existing SME programs for social enterprises.


On the horizon, the Social Enterprise World Forum 2013 will be in Calgary from Oct. 2 to 4th! SEWF2013 is being hosted by the Trico Charitable Foundation in partnership with the Social Enterprise Council of Canada and the Centre for Impact Investing. Watch www.sewf2013.com for updates and information.


The priorities ahead continue to be building a comprehensive and supportive ecosystem for social enterprise in Canada. And while the sector grows and gains momentum we have to remember that social enterprise is a means to create healthy communities; social enterprise is not the goal, social enterprise is the means. We have to keep a focus on the fact that social enterprise is a verb, supporting the success and sustainability of the non-profit sector.


from Al Etmanski, partner in Social Innovation Generation (SIG); co-chair BC Partners for Social Impact and blogger; aletmanski.com


Social entrepreneurship continues to grow in BC. There are many reasons for this, including the talent, determination and passion of youth and First Nations. That's the good news. The bad news: most are working for low wages with little financial support to grow their enterprises.


BC, like every province in Canada, needs a concerted effort to invest in our most creative problem solvers and to create funds that will enable them to establish their enterprises on solid footings and increase their impact.


Currently, I am working with colleagues from business, government and community to implement the eleven recommendations of the BC Social Innovation Council. This includes tax credits for social enterprises; BC Ideas, a web-based community of innovators and entrepreneurs; and the launch of Community Contribution Companies.


We need to increase the rate of breakthrough social innovations and enterprises. There are too many good solutions to our social and environmental problems that are isolated and orphaned. They need to be spread and scaled. This is harder than we think. It involves being able to work with allies as well as strangers and opponents; to change our thinking from incremental to whole systems change; to let go of treasured beliefs and approaches; to experiment and not be afraid of failure.


Social innovation "labs" have emerged around the world as one of the more effective containers for helping diverse and competing interests work together for widespread impact. I look for increased investment in social innovation labs in the year ahead.


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