Shining light on our thinking & doing, our epiphanies & struggles, & our movement.

PwrSwitch: A What’s Next YYC Update

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.

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Calling Canada’s Social Entrepreneurs: Win $100,000 and Help Build a Movement

For the 2021 edition of the Social EnterPrize, one recipient will:

-Receive $100,000 prize money;
-Be featured in a video profile;
-Be featured at an award ceremony scheduled for the evening of November 18, 2021 (if the ceremony is in-person travel & accommodation will be provided);
-Be featured in an in-depth profile in a case-study undertaken by a Canadian post-secondary institution; and
-Help advance Canada’s social entrepreneurship movement.

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Award-Winning Canadian Social Enterprise Skwachàys Lodge Reimagines Itself During COVID-19

Canada’s first Indigenous arts hotel, Skwachàys Lodge (pronounced skwatch-eyes) is another shining example of Canada’s leadership in coming up with ingenious ways business ventures can be blended with a social mission. Located in Vancouver, Skwachàys Lodge is a unique social enterprise created by a social housing organization, Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS).

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EMBERS Staffing Solutions: Amazing Social Enterprise Collects Governor General’s Innovation Award and Continues to Shine

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.

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Trico Foundation & Social Entrepreneurship: 2020 in Review

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.

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Universal Access: A What’s Next YYC Update

Founder, Accessibility Visionary, and Entrepreneur Sean Crump understood first-hand the challenges of inaccessible spaces after an accident left him paralyzed at 19 years old. Sean then launched Universal Access, accessibility consultants that provide assessments and certifications to multiple locations that meet their physically barrier-free standard.

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Fresh Routes: A What’s Next YYC Update

Fresh Routes is a not-for-profit social enterprise that is focused on creating new, innovative ways of providing healthy and affordable food to as many Canadians as possible-especially those who need it most. Their mobile grocery store (bus) brings healthy, fresh, and affordable food into neighborhoods facing barriers – allowing choice, maintaining dignity, and building community.

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CareFind: A What’s Next YYC Update

CareFind is a centralized interactive online platform with images, unique programs and more, which connect parents to real-time openings for child care. These are posted by accredited and or licensed daycares, preschools, out of school care programs, and approved day homes in Calgary and area for full, part-time, and drop-in care. This reduces the time that parents normally spend searching by having all child care providers housed under the same network, which highlight their availabilities.

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Beaverlodge: A What’s Next YYC Update

The first biennial What’s Next YYC was held in November 2019 and from the outstanding pool of 10 finalists, Beaverlodge was one out of three Judge’s Choice recipients, receiving $25,000 in prize money. Beaverlodge makes it easier for people to get bulk discounts as they make their homes more efficient. The user follows a series of steps on their phone and they end up with a road map to reduce their emissions by 50%.

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Colouring It Forward: A What’s Next YYC Update

Among the 10 impressive What’s Next YYC finalists who are using the power of business models to solve social problems is the Indigenous-run social enterprise Colouring It Forward. Colouring It Forward produces and sells colouring books and other products developed with Indigenous artists and elders to help to share (and preserve) the beautiful artwork and ancestral wisdom of our Indigenous peoples and promote reconciliation through the arts.

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