David LePage on the Journey of Social Enterprise

This guest blog post was written by David LePage, who will be leading “The What and Why of Social Enterprise” session at our Enterprising Spirit Conference. A successful journey begins with deciding why you want to take the trip and where you want to go. And once the destination is determined a successful trip requires research, planning, and preparation. Without a goal, a map and the right equipment you may easily end up just going off in any direction. You may end up just wandering around, or wondering if where you ended up “is this where we want to be?” Social enterprise is a journey, and it definitely requires all the same elements: a clear goal, getting ready, research, planning, and preparation before actually opening the doors and welcoming your first customers. And like any journey success is dependent on knowing where you’re going and evaluating your progress! If you want to learn and share in a workshop on the “journey of social enterprise” join us for the workshop “The What and Why of Social Enterprise” at the Enterprising Spirit: Creating Value and Social Good Conference, on November 17th, 2011 in Calgary,...

Show Me the Money – Solutions to the Top Challenges of Growing Your Social Enterprise

This guest blog post was written by Gerrad Oishi, who will be leading the Show Me the Money – Solutions to Challenges of Growing Your Social Enterprise session at our Enterprising Spirit Conference. There is a certain elation that comes from taking an idea for a social enterprise and piloting it. Proving you were right and that there really is an opportunity to generate revenue while advancing a social mission. It feels like you’ve summited a mountain. Yet the elation is often short lived, for as soon as you get to this point the next challenge emerges, ‘where do you go from here?’ Suddenly it feels like your efforts have only gotten you to the base camp of Mount Everest. A bigger climb awaits… Welcome to the growth phase. If I were to distill the top challenges of this phase, they are: Where do I get the money?  Who is interested in financially supporting your enterprise and what are they looking for? How do I get my Board to support this?   You have a Board of Directors that is well versed in the social cause but less familiar with the needs of business.  How do you acquire the board support you need to grow? How do I build my customer base?  Is there an alternative to expensive advertising campaigns?  Can partnerships achieve this? How do I staff this idea?  Do you start small and re-assign your fundraiser to look after business marketing?  Do you find a way to hire dedicated staff? (And you need to achieve all of the above while ensuring you are onside with CRA) I am a big fan of learning...

More Speakers Confirmed for Enterprising Spirit Conference

We are excited to announce three more panelists for our upcoming fall conference.  All three will be on the same panel lead by Jane Bisbee of the Social Enterprise Fund.  We look forward to hearing about the ups and downs of running a social enterprise in the session True Confessions in Social Entrepreneurship. For more information on the break out sessions, click here. As the founder of Live Local, Jessie Radies has a vision for Alberta as a diverse, vibrant and sustainable region. Live Local is dedicated to educating consumers on the benefit of shopping, eating and living locally and to giving local business owners strength in numbers. Growing up on a farm has instilled in Jessie a fierce passion for community.  Jessie believes strong, sustainable communities are the direct result of citizen participation and has worked to educate Albertans on the importance of the local economy, its relation to their community, and the power they hold to change it. Jessie believes we should consider our role as citizens a priority, and participate in the democratic process. This small shift from ‘consumers’ to ‘citizens’ would radically affect our economic outlook and sustainability. A self-proclaimed Foodie, Jessie, with chef husband Darcy, own The Blue Pear restaurant in Edmonton. Jessie has held a variety of roles within the food chain including working in the restaurant industry for 25 years, some of which for multinational fast food companies. Michele Cherot is the Business Manager for the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre and has been involved in non-profit management for over 18 years.  She completed her M.B.A. in 2003, specializing in social enterprise development. Michele is...

EVEN MORE Confirmed Enterprising Spirit Speakers

As our upcoming Enterprising Spirit: Creating Value and Social Good Conference takes shape, we are gathering a unique group of thinkers in the social enterprise space. Planning, practicing and fine tuning social enterprise are the themes of the conference. Our speakers, session leaders and panel participants bring a rich knowledge and professional expertise to the social enterprise movement. Over the next several weeks our blog will highlight individuals participating in our one day conference. Jane Bisbee and Gerrad Oishi are leading two of the sessions on the day of the conference.  Jane is busy pulling together a panel of social entrepreneurs who will share their real life stories from the trenches of running a business in the “True Confessions in Social Entrepreneurship” session. Gerrad Oishi is leading the “Business Solutions for Social Enterprise: Addressing the Challenges of a Social Enterprise in a Business Environment” session. He will be joined by professionals who have the business acumen and non-profit expertise to answer questions on social enterprise. Jane Bisbee recently assumed the post of Executive Director of the Social Enterprise Fund, a collaborative initiative of the City of Edmonton, the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and the Edmonton Community Foundation. A journalist by trade, with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Carleton University, she has experience in the Canadian book and magazine publishing industries, newspaper and radio reporting and documentary film.  She spent many years building industry capacity in the cultural industries, in particular Alberta’s film industry which presented her a lifetime achievement award in 2006.  A special focus of her career has been the development of non-traditional financing mechanisms for...

In Touch with the Enterprising Spirit Conference

The Enterprising Spirit Conference was recently featured on CTV Calgary’s In Touch segment. Check out the clip below to learn more: Social enterprise – where money and meaning meet. Help to  grow a community of social entrepreneurs who aim to deepen the connection  between economic and social progress. Join us for a day of  interactive workshops, experimental problem solving, and open exchange among  people working on or interested in social enterprise and the non-profit sector. Witness the Social EnterPrize Awards – annual grants to grow and sustain social  enterprises, provoke innovation and build capacity in the non-profit  sector. To view the full program and list of speakers, click here. To register for the Enterprising Spirit Conference, click here. We look forward to seeing you on November 17th, 2011, in Calgary,...

MORE Confirmed Speakers – the Excitement is Building…

As our upcoming Enterprising Spirit: Creating Value and Social Good Conference takes shape, we are gathering a unique group of thinkers in the social enterprise space. Planning, practicing and fine tuning social enterprise are the themes of the conference. Our speakers, session leaders and panel participants bring a rich knowledge and professional expertise to the social enterprise movement. Over the next several weeks our blog will highlight individuals participating in our one day conference. Jocelyne Daw and Stephanie Robertson will be participating in the “Profits + Purpose: Demonstrating Value” panel. This session will provide insights into simple management solutions that will enable you to use information and data more effectively to run your organization and social enterprise, plan for the future, and demonstrate your value to the community. Both of these women bring a wealth of expertise to this conversation. We are lucky to have them participating. Jocelyne Daw is a recognized pioneer and leading expert in evolution of authentic business and cause partnerships and in the integration of branding, social purpose and corporate citizenship. Jocelyne has over 25 years of leadership experience working with businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations. Most recently as Vice President, Marketing and Community Engagement at Imagine Canada she headed up the Caring Company program, the largest corporate citizenship initiative in Canada. She has developed, managed and communicated dozens of innovative cause partnerships that delivered mutually beneficial solutions for society and business. Jocelyne believes that business is a dynamic part of the communities they serve. Jocelyne is an internationally published author and speaker in the burgeoning and evolving field of cause branding and social impact. As an...