The Trico Charitable Foundation and Enterprising Non Profits-Alberta (enp-ab) recently celebrated our one year anniversary. During the last year we granted $92, 500 in funding to ten non-profit organizations in Alberta. To raise awareness of these organizations and their social enterprise endeavors we will be featuring them on our blog.
Our first feature grantee is the Association for the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women (ANIW). This organization was founded in 1986 and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. ANIW focuses on researching issues that impact the settlement of immigrant women in Alberta. This research is used to develop programs that support and empower these women.
ANIW like many not for profit organizations is considering pursuing a social enterprise. They understand and appreciate the value of diversifying their revenue sources to ensure the continuity of their programs. The Executive Director, Kamal Seghal, is familiar with social enterprise and has thought about it as a possible opportunity for ANIW. She has seen examples of social enterprise working in Calgary but was unsure of how to start developing a plan for her organization.
In 2011, a representative from ANIW attended the Trico Charitable Foundation and enp-ab’s Building Your Social Enterprise Workshop. ANIW realized that many of the social enterprise endeavors they had been contemplating for their organization were possible and that there was support for organizations pursuing social enterprise. Kamal Seghal said that “The stimulus for us to move forward was the support”.
(This Photograph features ANIW‘s staff, from left to right: Nizar Allidina, Chido Samantha Mbavarira, Rooh Khan, Rosa Martinez-Suarez).
ANIW received a grant from the Trico Charitable Foundation and enp-ab to undertake Opportunity Identification, the second step in the Development Path of Building a Social Enterprise. This grant was to fund a consultant that would help to identify and assess possible social enterprises for the organization. Throughout this process, ANIW realized that their organization was actually in the first stage of the Development Path—Organizational Readiness. They decided to re-group and re-focus their efforts on establishing their Organizational Readiness. This was not seen as a setback, but an important step to increase the strength and capacity of the organization and, in turn, the future planning of the social enterprise. This change in plans has made ANIW more determined and better prepared to develop their future social enterprise.
ANIW is looking forward to receiving their completed Organizational Readiness report from their consultant. Many hours have been spent by the staff, board and clients discussing and gaining a better understanding of their organization and the possibility of a social enterprise. The consultant’s report will provide significant information with regards to their organization readiness to pursue this new enterprise.
Kamal Sehgal feels that through this process, ANIW has learned more about their organization and social enterprise. She admits that they have now realized the complexity and potential risk of operating a social enterprise. As well as the importance of this enterprise focusing on the organization’s strengths, mission and vision. She says that one of the most significant lessons ANIW has gained from this exercise is that “it is possible”.
ANIW is committed to finding a social enterprise that will be a fit for their organization, unique in the marketplace and successful. The Trico Charitable Foundation and enp-ab is proud to have assisted with ANIW’s first stage of planning for a social enterprise.
To learn more on the Association for the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women visit their website at www.aniw.org