Alberta’s growing cities, rural communities share a common bond: an entrepreneurial mindset for social good
[Calgary, Canada] – Research released today by Mount Royal University, Simon Fraser University and Trico Charitable Foundation shows that communities across the province, in urban and rural environments, are active in and benefit from social enterprise. The Alberta-wide research marks the third installment of a survey seeking to better understand the profile and activities of social enterprises in Alberta. The timing of the research is complemented by the recent Alberta Speech from the Throne which articulates a need for both urban and rural community issues to be at the forefront of a new government mandate. The survey research shows a strong role for social enterprise across the province by enabling employment, generating volunteerism, and creating social capital for the development of healthy, resilient communities.
Social enterprises are business ventures owned or operated by a non-profit organization selling goods or providing services into the market for the purpose of creating a blended return on investment, both financial and social/environmental/cultural. The survey, based on over one hundred social enterprises across the province, examines how social enterprises in Alberta engage in their communities. In addition to the survey responses, Trico Foundation has helped advance the 2014 Alberta Social Enterprise Survey through the inclusion of interviews with key intermediaries around the province and questions to advance the field. The results uncover that many social enterprises are community-based, community-driven, and have strong social and cultural missions.