Our Mission is to build capacity in social entrepreneurship. To do this, we use the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s definition of capacity building (CRA sets rules for Foundations like the Trico Charitable Foundation): working with an organization “… to develop the skills, tools, and resources necessary to address their own problems.”
As a result, A.S.E.S.S. seeks to train the mind to solve problems rather than simply offering solutions. This is where true capacity building lives as it is about developing skills and strategies that can be called upon when challenges arise throughout a social enterprise journey. This is important because more and more, Trico Foundation is finding that traditional approaches to training entrepreneurs struggle to meet people where they are at and build skills that can be called upon as they move their idea forward out in the real world.
We also feel that social entrepreneurs will be better off in the long run if they are trained to solve their own problems. There are lots of programs and people that will tell you what to do, but they don’t really train you to solve these challenges for yourself. We want to fill that gap. It’s like the famous saying “Give a person a fish, they eat for a day. Teach them to fish and they eat for a lifetime.” So a key question you have to ask yourself is do you want someone to tell you how to solve a problem or do you want to learn how to solve problems? If it is the latter, you may be perfect for A.S.E.S.S.!
In fact, we think a failure to teach problem solving – plus a need to rethink social enterprise – is what’s really stopping many social entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential. We believe this so strongly another big part of your going through our program will be:
By training your mind to problem-solve, A.S.E.S.S. also lays the ground work for other supports in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. It will help you make the most of the other supports you access and will help you decide what supports make the most sense for your needs.
A.S.E.S.S. builds capacity through:
On this page:
If the above seems like something that will help you move your social enterprise idea forward, as a first step we encourage you to watch the below video that will lay out the goals of A.S.E.S.S. and flag for you some key things to keep in mind as you make your way through the associated tools:
Now that you have an high-level overview of A.S.E.S.S., this roadmap identifies a number of key issues we have seen social entrepreneurs at various stages in their journey’s face time and time again. Below you will find links that will take you to the corresponding videos/ tools we have available:
Please note that, our understanding of these challenges grows everyday as we work with more social entrepreneurs, as such the above resources are our attempt to share these learnings beyond the groups we work with one-on-one and we will do our best to keep them as up to date as possible.
Based on the above, we have developed a fill-able ‘Cheat Sheet’ that can help you work through a problem you are facing/ challenge that you are stuck on. This resource will help guide you through the A.S.E.S.S. tools based on the type of challenge you are experiencing and has been designed so you can work through the challenge you are facing yourself or be used as part of our below mentioned coaching sessions.
Please keep in mind that:
By working with a targeted number of organizations one-on-one (who have watched the above videos and filled out the tools), our coaching seeks to train the mind to solve problems rather than simply offering solutions.
Below you will find further details on our coaching process. As mentioned above, organizations are required to have completed the above tools and videos as the coaching is structured around these materials. We are only able to work with a limited number of organizations and they will be selected based on the alignment of a) their needs and our tools and b) the Trico Foundation’s areas of focus. To apply to take part in our coaching process, click Here to to be taken to an idea submission.
Given the high volume of inquiries we get, we cannot respond to every submission and we also ask that you please refrain from contacting the Trico Foundation Team directly. Should the need arise to contact us, please email email@example.com . If we see a potential match, you will hear from us within 10 business days and the next step is typically a conversation.
Telling you what to do is outside of our capacity building mandate and does not align with CRA’s definition of capacity building (or “training of the mind” as it is sometimes called) which as a Private Foundation we must comply with. But more than that, we strongly believe that telling you what to do falls into issues of funder/ fundee power dynamics and that is something we are dedicated to overcoming. See the above section ‘Why A.S.E.S.S.’ to better understand our reasoning on why we feel that you will be better off in the long run if you are trained to solve your own problems.
We are experts about A.S.E.S.S. but A.S.E.S.S. itself is an iterative learning process – it’s not perfect! That in and of itself means we shouldn’t be telling you what to do. But more than that, to successfully solve any problem you need two types of expertise: process expertise and subject matter expertise. We are not experts on your particular situation (the subject of you) or the many subjects you will be dealing with, from the specific sector you are in to specialized areas like marketing, supply chain management and human resources (to name a few). That’s why the A.S.E.S.S. training will encourage you to always seek that kind of expertise. Indeed, it is a key part of a process that tries to empower you to do your best in making your own decision for what you think is best for you.
We can provide coaching on how you use the A.S.E.S.S. tools to grapple with a legal issue. That said, legal advice falls outside of our coaching scope. To be very clear: in no way are we seeking to give you or should you in anyway take what happens in coaching as legal advice. Not only is advice outside of our mandate, we are not lawyers and we are not the best-suited people to provide advice on this. We do encourage organizations to discuss their specific needs with a lawyer who has experience with organizations exploring social entrepreneurship. In addition to coaching, we can provide a few resources that may help you in your research and to prepare for your legal discussions. Please keep in mind, even these resources are just meant to provide some basic information and are to be used in conjunction with consulting a lawyer.
First, the above videos and tools train you on our A.S.E.S.S. approach to solving problems and then coaching sessions will be available to delve into an identified issue you would like to work through. A coaching session will typically have: