“We were so delighted to be awarded the Best Emerging Social EnterPrize award by the Trico Foundation. The greatest effect was that we had our name out there, people started looking at us, and respecting the work that we did” said Brian Postlewait of Mission Possible of their 2011 award.
This year, the awards will highlight both social enterprise and social purpose business by identifying Canadian organizations that demonstrate best practices, impact, and innovation through their activities and programs.
The awards will be divided into two categories relating to the size of the social enterprise or social purpose business (Revenue & Assets Under $1M and over $1M categories,) with prizes totalling over $80,000. The awards will be presented at the 2013 Social Enterprise World Forum in Calgary October 2-4, 2013.
Completed applications are due by 4 pm May 10, 2013.
Trico Charitable Foundation, established in 2008, seeks to provoke innovation and build capacity in social entrepreneurship. Its programs, initiatives and partnerships are dedicated to growing a community of sustainable, entrepreneurial organizations. For more information please visit tricofoundation.ca.
In honour of Canada Day, I thought it would be interesting to focus on a Canadian social enterprise that has gained international attention. You may have first heard about Me to We on the Oprah Winfrey Show or some other American television program, but this social enterprise is 100% Canadian.
From Free the Children to Me to We
In 1995, 12 year old Craig Kielburger and his brother Marc began their mission to provide education to children around the world through their charity Free the Children. Today, Free the Children has built over 650 schools and every day provides 55,000 children access to education. Additionally, Free the Children has been involved in alternative income programs, water and sanitation projects and has increased the accessibility to medical resources for over one million individuals living in the third world.
Noticing that the administrative costs associated with running a charity diminished the funds reaching those in need and that a pure business model did not fit their mission, the brothers decided to enter the realm of social enterprise by blending charitable impact with business practices. In 2008, the Kielburger brothers were able to increase the sustainability of Free the Children by developing the innovative social enterprise Me to We.Me to We is a mechanism for social change that inspires first world citizens into making a difference. These programs are geared towards youth helping youth and over a million youth have been engaged worldwide since its inception.
The Trico Charitable Foundation was established in December of 2008 as an evolution of Wayne and Eleanor Chiu’s philanthropic endeavours. Our focus is promoting the development of effective and successful models, concepts and principles related to the national advancement of social enterprise.
One of the programs within the Foundation is the Social EnterPrize. This program provides awards funding and education through a national conference and Social “EnterPrize”. The Social EnterPrize recognizes Canadian leaders and non-profit organizations that are effectively using social enterprise to deepen their community impact. Up to four awards can be granted to organizations and individuals.
The mission of Potluck Café & Catering is community employment and community nutrition and a commitment to sustainable environmental practices in its café and catering business. The social enterprise was founded in 2001 and it is a neighbourhood café and professional catering services to corporate, government and clients in Vancouver. Their impact includes 30,000 meals prepared and served annually to 100 most vulnerable downtown east side residents (DTES), job training for 10 – 24 DTES community residents, four to six internships – all to people with barriers to employment, and an additional 500 to 1000 DTES free meals for residents of the DTES. They are a unique model of social enterprise because they generate 85 – 90% revenue from their catering business, they receive no government funding, they have strong grass roots connection to their community and it is a replicable food training model for other non-profit organizations to consider as a revenue generating model.
Mission Possible is a Christian humanitarian agency that transforms lives by helping people experiencing homelessness and poverty achieve a renewed sense of dignity and purpose through meaningful work. Their social enterprise is MP Maintenance, founded in 2009 and it is a property maintenance business that includes services such as graffiti removal, exterior property cleaning services and site cleanup. Since their creation of the social enterprise in 2009 they have helped 36 people and employed 23 people, with 8 people currently servicing 60 customers in the Vancouver area. They are a unique model of social enterprise as they have strong business acumen complemented by charismatic leadership, with a strong group of dedicated volunteers resulting in significant impact in a short time. They are also poised for substantial growth with a recent contract from BC Hydro to install smart meters.
Caroline Arcand is the instigator of 10 social enterprises, a prominent speaker, coach and leader. Witnessing the increase in self-esteem of disabled people at work inspires her. The mission of her non-profit, Groupe Convex Prescott-Russell, located in Hawksbury, Ontario, is to generate meaningful jobs through business projects for residents who face employment challenges. One of their successful social enterprises is Recycle Action, a sorting facility, industry collector, and receiver of recyclable products from BlueBox, commercial and industrial sectors. The impact in their community is significant with the development of multiple community partnerships, serving over 30,000 households, 41 schools, 159 businesses and 5 municipalities. They are unique as their work successfully blends social, economic, environmental issues while creating jobs and generating revenue. They have a proven track record, and address a need in their rural community. Caroline Arcand is a strong leader and social entrepreneur driving the organization.