As one of our favourite examples of a Canadian social enterprise, a 2013 Social EnterPrize recipient, EMBERS Staffing Solutions (ESS) continues to excel by using the power of business models to solve social problems. Since the last time we touched base with Founder and CEO, Marcia Nozick in early 2019, ESS has paid 9.2 million in wages and benefits and grossed 11.6 million in sales.
Happy New Year! The start of 2021 gives us the opportunity to reflect and learn from 2020. Although 2020 came with its many challenges, the past twelve months were busy, historic, and made great progress in advancing both social entrepreneurship and Calgary’s role as a hub for social entrepreneurship.
Not only does the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley (Biosphere) offer award-winning education, research, and community engagement programs, they also continue to serve as a community resource centre, maintaining thousands of records on local ecology and planning in their public library. Biosphere is now looking to undertake business and financial planning for a new social enterprise they helped to create, called Bow Valley Green Energy, to prepare it to accept investments in community-owned and-managed renewable energy projects.
Over the month of August, 20 Mount Royal students from 15 unique programs on campus took part in the inaugural Social Entrepreneurship Sprint (MRU Sprint) hosted by the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The five teams ended the five-week Sprint with interesting social enterprise ideas that can be launched through the Institute’s LaunchPad program. A few of the students were ambitious enough to enter into a second Sprint, the Student Entrepreneur Sprint with Platform Calgary (Platform Sprint), in September. We had a chance to chat with three of the students, Leah Pottinger, Shargeel Hayat, and Avery McLellan on their social entrepreneurship journey with the two Sprints.
Looking to the future, Redefin’d is excited to start their new journey:
“This funding has allowed us to take inventory of the learnings of the last few years and clearly define what it means to become a radically regenerative community. Our vision for the future is to open a live-in community on a rural farm that will transform the lives of 1,000 people by 2030.”