Two weeks ago, Thrive Calgary and Servants Anonymous partnered with enp-AB to bring together forty of Calgary’s “thinkers and practioners” in social enterprise. The Afterhours set out to hear directly from the community “what is next needed?” to keep the social enterprise movement rolling in Calgary.
The group brought diverse perspectives together. Bankers, government employees, non-profit professionals, academics, artists, community organizers, marketers, web builders, facilitators, and volunteers (whew!) all came together to share. To start off, we asked each person two questions: what do you have to offer to this community & what do you need from this community. Our volunteers matched these needs, and the group was asked to find their “dates” and continue the conversation & matching after the event.
We didn’t get a chance to solve the whole puzzle in one evening. But we made a good start by pairing down five big buckets of work that needs doing. Below is a summary of the big outcomes and next steps taken from the small group conversations. For me, what came across loud and clear is that we need more support for the practitioners of social enterprise and education for those thinking of jumping in. All of the other building blocks like financing, purchasing, and franchising only become relevant when we’ve build a strong community for folks who are doing the work.
It dawned on me on that evening that Trico Foundation was launched a mere four months before. In four months, we’ve seen the levels of interest and inspiration rise, and we’ve seen tangible action taken. But in truth, we’ve only scratched the surface. We don’t know what form the next Afterhours will take, but if you want to stay up-to-date I encourage you to email me.
Thanks for Brenna for getting our takeaways on to one page.