What is Social Enterprise?
Social enterprise is a challenging and transformative service. Social enterprise ventures seek social and financial returns which seek to provide a blended return on investment. Successful social enterprises can help an organization achieve its directive as well as provide sustainable revenue. Social enterprise will also enhance an organizations reputation and visibility, as well as creating new opportunities for attracting donors, volunteers, board members and sponsors.
There are three basic types of Social Enterprise:
Social Enterprises can perform one or all of these functions within one business. Additionally, they can be rural or urban based, and serve specific communities such as; women, seniors, youth, First Nations or serve to meet environmental issues. The variety of social enterprise is as large as the marketplace itself. Social enterprise can generate 5 – 100 % of an organizations funding needs, while fulfilling the organizational mandate.
Social enterprise should have a big idea to help foster the process; thinking small is not beneficial to social enterprise. Once the big idea is established, organizations completing the venture need to be able and willing to take risks. They must also be prepared to fail at these risks, learn from their mistakes, adapt and continue on. The organization must also be able to inspire others, while developing a sustainable social enterprise.
Non-Aboriginal Social Enterprise Ventures
Al Etmanski Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, Vancouver, British Columbia
Al is recognized for his groundbreaking work building the Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN). PLAN's work enhances the quality of life and security of disabled persons by building a safety net of diverse programs — secured networks of family and friends, increased financial independence, and avenues for true contribution and citizenship — that can withstand the death of their parents as well as unpredictable changes in government-funded support services.
Learn more at www.plan.ca
Nicole Rycroft Markets Initiative, Tofino, British Columbia
Safeguarding the bio-diversity and long-term survival of ancient forests globally
The Canadian edition of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and recent works of literary giants such as Margaret Atwood are some of the best-known believers in Nicole Rycroft's strategy for stemming the rapid loss of ancient forest. Rycroft's nonprofit, Markets Initiative, has revolutionized the Canadian book-publishing industry by actively working with publishing companies such as Penguin Canada, Random House Canada and Doubleday Canada, to phase out their use of products derived from the ancient rainforest of British Columbia and endangered forests globally. Rycroft facilitates change in consumption patterns throughout the entire publishing industry supply chain, including: Negotiating new paper product specifications with producers, overseeing test runs with printers, and assisting publishers in managing demand issues. Today, 71 of Canada's leading publishing houses and 41 U.S. publishing companies have committed to eliminate the use of ancient forest papers from their books, and the current Canadian edition of "Harry Potter" was printed using alternative fibers as a result of Rycroft's interventions.
Learn more at www.marketsinitiative.org
Video resource links
A 5:52 minute video that talks about social enterprise being the business model of the future. The video is shot and based in London, UK, but provides some examples of social enterprises in action. The examples include troubled youth cook training, environmental waste recycling, and training and employment for blind and disabled persons.
This 3:05 minute video gives and introduction to social enterprise, and briefly explains how social enterprise business model creates jobs, assists communities and helps the environment.
A 12:14 minute Tedx Talk that looks at the immense impact of social entrepreneurs.
For further information, please contact:
Shane Hartman, Environmental Coordinator/Policy Analyst
200-506 Fort St
Ph. (250) 388-5522
Fax. (250) 388-5502
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