Innovative Social Enterprises Awarded in Annual Heroes Event

The sixth annual Social Enterprise Heroes event took place the evening of April 16, 2014, at the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. Produced by Enterprising Non-Profits BC (“ENP”) and sponsored by JDQ Systems, Junxion, KPMG and TELUS, the evening featured three businesses competing in front of a team of judges and a live audience for almost $50,000 …

Social Enterprise Supporters Get Value Back

With five years of success behind it, Social Enterprise Heroes has become a landmark event in British Columbia’s social enterprise community. Produced annually by Enterprising Non-Profits BC (ENP), the evening caps a full Day of Learning supporting businesses designed to produce sustainable revenue for a non-profit organisation, while also operating in alignment with the non-profit’s mission. Social Enterprise Heroes has …

What Links Online Dating and Impact Investing?

I have been browsing profiles on what is apparently the hottest new dating site—but it’s really weird. It’s still only in beta, and it only gives the person’s photo and net income. I’m looking for something really long term—like raise kids, grow together—but all I have is their income? Who can make a decision like that? And so it is …

Should we drop the ‘C’ in ‘CSR’?

Adam Garfunkel, marketing adviser to Heart of the City, discusses the term ‘corporate social responsibility’ and asks if is has had its day. I was speaking at the Heart of the City annual leadership breakfast at Mansion House earlier this year when the question was asked from the floor: “Should we drop the C in CSR?”I could see from my …

Not Business As Usual

Thomas Perkins, the famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist, has been the subject of significant press attention recently. In an open letter to the Wall Street Journal, he drew a comparison between Nazi Germany and criticisms of the now infamous “one per cent” of über-wealthy Americans who control inordinate wealth and socio-economic power. While his firm distanced itself quickly from Perkins’s …

We are the Product of our Environment

Take a peek into your closet. Among your favourite outfits and outcasts, you are bound to find at least one item made in Bangladesh. Given that the garment industry is a $20 billion business there, odds are high. Odds are also high that someone made that garment in poor conditions for a paltry wage. What’s more, global supply lines are …

Celebrating Social Venture Leadership at SVI 2013

There’s always an atmosphere of possibility and potential in the days leading up to the annual Social Venture Institute—Hollyhock. And it gets positively palpable in the hours before each year’s cohort of social entrepreneurs arrives at this remarkable retreat centre on Cortes Island, off Canada’s west coast. This year—the 18th in SVI’s storied history—was no exception, and the record assembly …

SVI 2013: Daniel Terry, Denman Island Chocolate

“You have to keep going and work hard, but success breeds success.” It’s been scientifically proven that chocolate increases serotonin levels in the brain, so Daniel Terry’s infectiously positive outlook may be, in some part, related to the business he runs. “I make people happy, which you can’t put a price on,” says Daniel, co-founder and CEO of Denman Island …

Lessons for Social Enterprise Leadership

In the face of the complex challenges that social entrepreneurs aim to resolve, effective leadership is essential. The ability to engage people and develop productive organisational coalitions, in service of real world results, is the essence of success for every social enterprise. This is particularly true when missions collide with entrenched systems—global supply chains, unsustainable food systems, and international conflict …