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As capitalism evolves, Calgary poised to be a leader

Haskayne School of Business launches new Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre with $5-million gift

[box] By Stephane Massinon, Haskayne School of Business. NOTE: This article was originally published on the University of Calgary’s website and has been cross-posted with permission. [/box]

This past summer, the Business Roundtable, which includes the CEOs of top American businesses, made a bold statement about the future of business — that companies serve not just shareholders, but customers, employees, suppliers and communities.

Amidst shifting perspectives about the role of business in society today, the University of Calgary has announced the creation of the Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre at the Haskayne School of Business. As business is changing, so, too, is business education.

The centre, announced on Sept. 10, has been made a reality thanks to the generosity of Wayne and Eleanor Chiu, BComm’85. A $5 million gift from their Trico Charitable Foundation will go towards UCalgary’s $1.3-billion Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High.

“I believe that, by engaging the University of Calgary, we are definitely able to create a much greater impact in Canada and possibly around the world. If we are able to use social entrepreneurship by encouraging more business people to get engaged into doing good by doing well, I think that will be huge for Calgary,” says Wayne Chiu, CM, AOE, ICD.D; chairman, Trico Charitable Foundation.

The Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre will support unique student experiences inside and outside the classroom including community-based learning, internships, curriculum and research. Students will be empowered with new opportunities and all the support they need to enhance their academic experience. Hands-on learning and tailored student experiences will make Haskayne the school of choice for students interested in social entrepreneurship.

“Thanks to the vision of the Chiu family, we are helping our city to pivot towards an area where we offer unique strengths and capacity,” says UCalgary President Ed McCauley.

“Calgary is already a leader in innovation, with the highest number of new patents per capita in the country. We can be a leader in social entrepreneurship, too. The Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre will be a launching point for so many great ideas to solve significant challenges and benefit society.”

From left: Dean Jim Dewald, Haskayne School of Business; UCalgary President Ed McCauley; Trico Charitable Foundation co-founders Eleanor and Wayne Chiu; Patrick Chiu, MBA’18; and BComm student Sanya Chaudhry. Photo by Kelly Hofer, for the Haskayne School of Business

Social entrepreneurship uses business models — selling products or services — to solve social problems. Unlike traditional philanthropy, a social enterprise makes a social impact with a business model that creates value and is financially self-sustaining.

Additionally, the Haskayne School and the Trico Charitable Foundation announced a partnership to bring the Social EnterPrize award to Calgary in November 2019. This $100,000 biennial competition for leaders in Canadian social enterprise will take place on the University of Calgary campus. New this year, we are also starting the What’s Next YYC to recognize Calgary-based social enterprises with four $25,000 prizes awarded on the same day as the Social EnterPrize. More details on these awards will be announced later this month.


By supporting the Haskayne School of Business with the establishment of the centre and the prize events, the Trico Charitable Foundation believes that, together, we can educate the next generation of social entrepreneurs and conduct research on what makes social enterprises successful. In the process, we will help Calgary advance as a hub for social entrepreneurship and as a leader in the next evolution of capitalism.

 “There’s no better time in the history of the world for really diving into social entrepreneurship than right now,” says Dr. Jim Dewald, PhD, dean of the Haskayne School of Business.

Dewald said today’s business students are savvy and come to university seeking to learn social entrepreneurship because they understand that one way to address social challenges is to use business principles.

“You have to stand back and admire the foresight and vision of the Chiu family in seeing that social entrepreneurship is going to be important to our future,” says Dewald. “To partner with them at the Haskayne School of Business is such a gift for us, and I am so thankful for their support.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Trico Charitable Foundation and other philanthropic leaders, friends and supporters, the Energize campaign is now 97 per cent toward its targeted goal. The campaign is helping the university invest in new student experiences, innovation in teaching and learning, and fostering deeper connections with the community.


President Ed McCauley speaks at the launch of the Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre. Photo by: Kelly Hofer, for the Haskayne School of Business
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