Trico Charitable Foundation’s Social EnterPrize awards recognize and celebrate leadership and excellence in social entrepreneurship across Canada.

We are pleased to announce the call for the 2015 Social EnterPrize nominees who demonstrate best practices, impact, and innovation using markets to solve social problems.

Each recipient will receive:

  • $25,000 Cash Prize
  • $5,000 in consulting services from the Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Video Profile
  • Profile in a case study undertaken by a Canadian post-secondary institution
  • All expenses paid trip (travel, accommodation, and registration), to the Social Finance Forum in Toronto, November 12-13, 2015
  • All four recipients will be part of a private dinner on November 12, hosted by MaRS and Trico, where they can converse with four experienced leaders in the field of social finance.

See Videos of previous winners.

Apply Now!  Application deadline: May 29, 2015, 4 pm MST.


Social EnterPrize 2015 is presented by the Trico Charitable Foundation in partnership with the
MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the Business Development Bank of Canada



We see the value of social + financial.

At its core, social entrepreneurship uses markets and new ideas to solve social problems. Regardless of whether it’s an individual or an organization, regardless of their choice of incorporation- non-profit or for-profit, these elements are the driving force.

We support social entrepreneurship.

We are a private foundation that believes in supporting social entrepreneurship through programmatic, grant making, and partnership approaches. We take a systems view to every decision we make and foster social entrepreneurship by supporting the ecosystem and providing social entrepreneurs with capacity building resources.

We are entrepreneurial.

We believe in making social entrepreneurship mainstream. We know we can’t do it alone. Which is why we don’t just fund organizations; we work with them and learn with them to move the sector forward, taking risks along the way.

ENP Alberta

Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta

Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta (enp-ab) began in 2011 and is a collaborative program that provides matching grants and technical assistance to non-profit organizations to support the development or growth of their social enterprises (i.e., revenue generating businesses). Enp holds social enterprise workshops in the spring and fall for non-profit organizations wanting to learn more about social enterprise and how to gain access to enp grants from Trico Charitable Foundation for business planning projects.
Visit ENP-AB
Social EnterPrize

Social EnterPrize

The Social EnterPrize awards were created to recognize and celebrate leadership and excellence in social entrepreneurship across Canada.  The awards look for the best practices, social impact and innovation of organizations and their social entrepreneurial strategies.The awards are presented bi-annually and provide organizations with award funds that can be used to take their social enterprise to the next level.  The awards were last presented in 2013 at the Social Enterprise World Forum and will be awarded in 2015.

Apply for 2015

Social Enterprise World Forum 2013

We were honoured to host SEWF 2013. It made history in a number of ways- it was a first for Canada and attracted a record number of speakers and attendees (1,000 individuals from more than 30 countries and over 100 speakers from 20 countries)- but we are most proud of the quality of the discussions on Skills Building, Social Finance, Indigenous Social Enterprise, Collaboration, Policy and Research, and Social Innovation.
Post-Conference Reports
Nominations Open for the 2015 Social EnterPrize

Nominations Open for the 2015 Social EnterPrize

Canada’s Social Impact Organizations Celebrated with Biggest Prize Package Ever     Created by the Trico Charitable Foundation in 2011, the biennial Social EnterPrize Awards celebrate Canadian social enterprises that demonstrate best practices, impact and innovation.... read more
Governance and Collective Impact

Governance and Collective Impact

Written: by Liz Weaver, Vice President – Tamarack, an Institute for Community Engagement Revised on January 26, 2015 By now we know that collective impact is often messy work. These collaborative processes are designed to address complex problems by bringing both... read more
The Holy Grail of Social Entrepreneurship?

The Holy Grail of Social Entrepreneurship?

We’re often asked for our definition of social entrepreneurship.

In the past three years, our answers have morphed. We started purely on the non-profit side, but encountered problems whereby “everyone” was becoming a social entrepreneur. As we shifted toward the for-profit side, we started to rub up against CSR and social-washing concerns. Instead of broadening our ability to discuss the possibility of social entrepreneurship, we found ourselves increasingly walled within incorporation definitions.

A long time ago, I argued for our ability to hold the broadest definition of social entrepreneurship that we possibly could – so that we might experience and learn from the models holding the greatest yields. And yet, over time, I have found myself sniffing for flaws in business model construction.

“Is that really social impact?”

“Is selling to government actually a market opportunity?”
“Does receiving a subsidy take away the sparkle of the idea?”

Last spring, I joined the Futurpreneur Canada Action Roundtable in Calgary to discuss the needs of advancing entrepreneurship across the country. I listened to entrepreneurs describe their dedication to the community, to their employees, and to creating an organization that was more than just about business (that was about more than just business). They talked about living wages, volunteer days, health benefits, professional development, community engagement, and employee ownership.

When asked as to whether these elements equaled social entrepreneurship, my gut was no, but my head kept asking “why not”? In short, social change was not the goal.

However, when I have looked at social enterprise models with social as the goal, often I am confounded by the use of volunteers or beneficiaries as “staff” or government as the sole purchaser. There may well be social purpose to these organizations, but they lack the elements described above – the social process.

Social process: Values the “how” of doing business. Sustainability initiatives, paying a living wage, offering benefits, and providing a compelling workplace are examples of how organizations can enhance their workforces and communities.

Social purpose: Roots itself in the desire to solve a social issue. Achieving this social purpose is an in-extractable part of the business model.

Without it, the model could not exist.

Unpacking these concepts required us to start from one vantage point, not definitions, not incorporations, not business models, but rather from “intentionality”.

If we started back at square one, at the point of intention, how should a social entrepreneur start building their business model.

read more

Revisit the coverage and videos from the Social Enterprise World Forum 2013