The NU Community Board is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the inaugural NU Alberta Student Social Entrepreneur Awards. These awards celebrate the best and brightest Alberta students that are pushing our understanding of how business models can solve social problems. The board members were impressed by the number of applications received, as well as the depth of understanding and careful execution exhibited by all applicants.
Founder and CEO of aGRO Systems Inc. (aGRO), Victoria Ross, found her passion through wanting to solve a problem that struck close to home. Victoria’s father has been a beef cattle rancher for almost 50 years. While completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Calgary, Victoria found that around half of all Canadian farmers need a second job to make ends meet, similar to her family’s own experience. This spurred the creation of her social enterprise, which provides service and grain bins to breweries, distilleries, and cideries to transform their waste into affordable livestock feed that is sold to local farmers. aGRO is helping make family farmers more profitable, improving the global food system, and reducing carbon emissions from livestock.
Co-Founder and CEO, Carrie Gour and Co-Founder and COO, Beth Thompson created PwrSwitch as a result of trying to solve their own problems. Unfortunately, they both experienced a high conflict divorce and when lawyers asked for documentation, Carrie and Beth, like many others, could not keep up because of the volume of communications. PwrSwitch supports victims of cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment including those experiencing a high conflict divorce or separation by providing a means to effortlessly collect and consolidate the electronic communications evidence they need to seek legal restitution or therapeutic counsel. PwrSwitch realized the extreme need for automated documentation.
The Trico Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the NU Student Social Entrepreneurship Awards. These awards will be given to student social entrepreneurs in 2021 and are meant to celebrate the best and brightest student social entrepreneurs in Alberta. The NU Awards joins a number of Trico Charitable Foundation initiatives, such as What’s Next YYC and the Social EnterPrize, in advancing Alberta as a leader in social entrepreneurship.
Social entrepreneur Aishwarya Khanduja firmly believes in pursuing her passions to their fullest extent, and there are plenty of examples of her doing so. The Trico Foundation had the privilege of working with Aishwarya when she joined the team as 2019’s summer student social entrepreneur, where she developed her social enterprise LoopEducation as she brought her venture through our A.S.E.S.S. process.
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.