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First Recipients of Alberta Student Social Enterprise Awards Announced

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. Each recipient will receive a $10,000 award. After reviewing the applications and much deliberation, the recipients for the 2021 awards are:

Kristy Wong, Co-Founder, FloraGreen

Developed by undergraduate students at the University of Calgary, FloraGreen creates biodegradable, eco-friendly floral arrangement blocks. These are an environmentally conscious alternative to synthetic floral products. The NU Community Board was impressed by their synergistic blend of the social and the entrepreneurial and their ultimate vision.

From Kristy Wong:

“Thank you so much for this award and for all that the Trico Charitable Foundation is doing to support students. There aren’t many organizations out there supporting student entrepreneurs, much less student social entrepreneurs.
This award will go towards much needed funding for our product development, allowing us to keep growing. It feels great to know that the future of business will help social inequalities and make the world a better place.”


Jesse Ward, Co-Founder, Hope Cleaning

Co-Founded by a University of Calgary MBA student, Hope Cleaning is an employment social enterprise, providing jobs to Calgarians facing barriers to employment through commercial and residential cleaning services. As a team, the NU Community Board was blown away by the strategic pivots made by Hope Cleaning at the onset of COVID-19 which allowed the organization to grow their operations and maintain all their staff positions.

From Jesse Ward:

I am so grateful to have been selected as a Trico NU Alberta Student Social Entrepreneur! I love running our company and am thankful for all of the support from our local Calgary community. Knowing that others see the impact that Hope Cleaning is creating drives us to continue to grow and strengthen the community. Thank you Trico for being a champion of Social Enterprise!” 


Miguel Klassen, Co-Founder, Adaptive Play Personalized Activity (APPA)

Founded by two Mount Royal University students, APPA’s core objective is to help children and youth with motor disabilities when services and programs are not available. While still an early stage organization, their focus on methodical testing and learning is impressive and they are truly making the most of where they are at in their journey.

From Miguel Klassen:

“APPA is a business we created with the intention of helping busy families gain access to specialized services for disabilities. We focus on providing physical literacy and rehabilitation programs and are proud to say that we intend to help people get more physical activity! We are excited to be continuing our business into the fall, and into the future. Thank you!”


Additionally, all applicants for the NU Alberta Student Social Entrepreneur Awards will receive a complimentary ticket to the Pivot On Purpose event. This biennial event seeks to reimagine how far business models can go in solving social problems  and celebrates both Canadian and local social entrepreneurs.

We have received permission from four of our finalists to share their websites in this blog:


NU National Student Social Entrepreneur Award 

The applications for the NU National Student Social Entrepreneur Award, one grand prize of $25,000, are set to open in August 2021. If you are interested in being notified when applications open, please email:



The NU Board is Chaired by Patrick Chiu, the General Manager of Trico Communities, who is driven by the TRICO principle of doing well by doing good. Established by the Trico Charitable Foundation in 2019, the NU Community Board and program focuses on supporting and celebrating the best and brightest student social entrepreneurs in Alberta and Canada by working closely with post-secondary institutions.  In addition to awards and funding various social enterprises, NU Community Board is driven by the guiding idea: “Imagine if we fully harnessed the power of business models to close gaps in society.” [/box]




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