2013 a Banner Year for Social Enterprise in Canada

SEWF delegates enact a resounding message about the power of collaboration at the forum.

2013 a Banner Year for Social Enterprise in Canada

Hosting Social Enterprise World Forum, unveiling of North America's first Social Venture Connexion amongst the accomplishments

A number of key happenings made 2013 a banner year for Canada’s social enterprise sector.

Canada Hosts Social Enterprise World Forum

On Oct. 2-4, the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) convened more than 1,000 delegates from around the world in Calgary, Alberta.

SEWF travels to a new country each year to spotlight and celebrate its social enterprise movement. The Canadian event was one of SEWF’s largest yet, due in part to the strength of the country’s social enterprise sector, said Trico Charitable Foundation director of collaboration and innovation and SEWF co-ordinator Dan Overall.

  Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District, joined Tom Kloet, CEO of the TMX Group, the Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, and Adam Spence, associate director of MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, on Sept. 19 to celebrate the official launch of MaRS’ new impact investing platform, Social Venture Connexion.

North America’s First Stock-Exchange-Like Platform for Social Ventures Unveiled

The Social Venture Connexion (SVX) opened in Toronto Sept. 19 to fill a significant gap in the impact investing marketplace.

SVX opens up the possibilities for ventures and funds looking for capital to connect with investors seeking to generate the potential for financial return while creating a positive social and environmental impact through their investments.

The first of its kind in North America, SVX provides access to a network of more than 100 investors.

At the time of the SVX launch, 12 issuers had passed a rigorous review of their governance and management, impact and finances.

Canada’s First Recognized Hybrid Corporation Structure Passed in B.C.

On July 29, registration for a new recognized hybrid corporation structure, the community contribution company (CCC), opened in B.C.

CCCs have the ability to issue shares and pay dividends to shareholders while following rules to ensure the majority of their projects and assets are directed towards a social purpose.

“This new model will unlock new ways to generate meaningful, local employment in B.C. and generate economic wealth for our province by encouraging private investment in B.C.’s social enterprise sector,” said Finance Minister Michael de Jong in a news statement.

Two Provincial Social Enterprise Studies Released

Also in 2013, two surveys on the state of social enterprise in the provinces of Ontario and Alberta were released.

The studies will be valuable for those looking to build support for social enterprise, as they provide hard data demonstrating that social enterprises are having an impact in the provinces.

A report on B.C.’s social enterprise sector is slated for release early this year.

Enterprising Non-profits Canada Adds a Newsroom, New Website

As part of actualizing its intent to help grow the country’s social enterprise sector, the Enterprising Non-profits (ENP) collaborative added a social enterprise news service and created a new online portal this past year.

The news service began publishing stories on a tri-weekly basis in March. The work of the ENP-CA newsroom is to get in touch with as many people who are doing social enterprise work as possible and to share their stories. Most of these stories will try to capture the latest lessons learned, motivations, elements of success, and plans for next steps.

“Connecting with people from across the country has shown us how rich the social enterprise ecology already is. This is an energizing discovery,” said Peter Pula, CEO and founder of Axiom News, which is operating the ENP-CA newsroom.

“That people in communities are working together to bring local capacity to life, these are the most important stories to share.”

The hope is that “as we share all the small stories about day-to-day challenges and successes,” readers can learn from and connect with one another, Peter said.

The new ENP-CA website, SocialEnterpriseCanada.ca, went live in fall.

Vancity Community Foundation executive director Derek Gent said he doesn’t usually get too excited about websites, but this one has him pretty jazzed. He sees potential for it to help build a greater sense of solidarity and connection around social enterprise.

“By encouraging us to work together — big ones helping small ones, rural and urban, with a variety of impact objectives, perspectives, capacity levels and risk tolerances — this is the only way we can make a serious dent in the mainstream economy and help people see the non-profit sector in a new light,” Derek said.

What other 2013 Canadian social enterprise accomplishments are worth noting? Contact the newsroom to let us know: assignment(at)axiomnews.ca.

You can comment on this story below, or e-mail michelle(at)axiomnews.ca.

A version of this article was originally written for the Enterprising Non-profits Canada news service. This repost, for which we received permission, follows the style guidelines of the original post. To learn more about generative newsroom options for your organization or community, please contact peter(at)axiomnews.ca.

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