In this session public sector leaders and key practitioners took turns spending three to four minutes identifying their three key public policy “must do’s” to help social enterprise maximize its potential. This was followed by a free flowing discussion and then a twenty minute Q&A with the audience.
Moderating the session was Peter Holbrook, CEO, Social Enterprise UK. The session included
- Derek Gent, Executive Director, Vancity Community Foundation;
- Molly Harrington, Assistant D.M., Policy & Research Div., Ministry of Social Development, Government of BC
- Katherine Hewson, Assistant Deputy Minister for Open for Business, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development Trade and Employment and the Ministry of Research and Innovation
- Johanne Lavoie, Commissioner, Social Economy Bureau, City of Montreal
- Mairi MacKay, Director of Society, British Council in East Asia
- Neil McLean, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Academy
- Yvonne Strachan, Head of the Third Sector, Equality and Community Empowerment, Scottish Government
- John Walker, Director General, Community Development and Partnerships Directorate, Employment and Social Development Canada
A special thanks to session sponsor Enterprising Non-Profits (enp) Canada.
Transcript of session:
Moderator: Peter Holbrook, CEO, Social Enterprise UK:
The UK has had approximately ten years of public policy developments on social enterprise and they have been critical. There is no magic bullet, no single policy that is required. However, with that said, wherever I go around the world it strikes me that the issues and barriers social enterprises face can be very similar from one country to another.
Katherine Hewson, Assistant Deputy Minister for Open for Business, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development Trade and Employment and the Ministry of Research and Innovation:
Ontario has just issued a social enterprise strategy. It is an attempt for government at a sub-national level to try to identify and categorize how we will move forward to support the social enterprise sector.
It has four pillars:
- Connecting and coordination
- Build awareness and brand social enterprise
- Creating a vibrant social finance market place
- Supports and capacity building.
Out of that there are three things I would like to mention.
1) Government must create the correct regulatory environment where social enterprises can be created, can flourish, can grow, and wind up in appropriate ways. It’s about finding the balance between the enterprising aspect and the social aspect and getting that legislation right.
There is a whole aspect of tax environments as well – making sure that social enterprises benefit from the same kind of tax treatment that other enterprises do and, in some cases, and this is a policy issue, what is the role of government in advancing or giving special tax treatment to social enterprises? That is a whole big discussion.
2) The second area is kind of connected to that and it is ‘How can government help create a strong and effective social finance market place?’ How can investors be connected to enterprises? What’s the role in government in settings standards for that? What are the metrics and what is the role of government in setting those metrics?
3) The third issue is capacity building in general. In Ontario at least there is one aspect of this that is becoming clear to me and that is how do you build the capacity of young people to engage in the sector with the kinds of capacity that with the sector with the types of capacity that they need to have?
I had the opportunity to work with the Jobs and Prosperity Council which was a number of senior business leaders, academics, union leaders and others to talk about what prosperity would mean and what the government and other partners need to do to do that, and what kept coming up was the need to create the spirit of entrepreneurship and the capacity for entrepreneurship in young people and I think that is multiplied and intensified for young people seeking to enter the social enterprise sector. Young people want to make a difference in the world but young people I think don’t necessarily see themselves as entering into entrepreneurship as easily they would just have a job. One of the roles of government is to help young people through school systems or other places to develop that capacity.
Yvonne Strachan, Head of the Third Sector, Equality and Community Empowerment, Scottish Government:
I think it is clear from our experience in Scotland and the UK and, indeed, through conversations that we have already had around this forum that they are quite a many common challenges for the social enterprise sector. These are captures in three common challenges that I wish to highlight:
- Awareness of the sector and understanding of social enterprise
- Access to finance
- Commission and procurement
I would like to talk about three areas where we can move in the public policy context for social enterprises going forward:
- Public policy efforts need to be more outcomes focused and impact conscious so it is less about inputs and outputs and much more about the improvements to the society in which we live and the improvements made for the people who really need our services and interventions. It’s also about policy being geared to the long-term for long-term sustainability and not about short-term expediency and that has an impact on what you measure and where you engage and where your foresight is and the kinds of areas you believe need to be tackled and in what manner.
- Public policy frameworks need to recognize social enterprises as contributing to economic development not just social change. The frames of reference need to have social value firmly placed there so the economic policies that drive much of our public policy have social business, social enterprise and social value at its heart. That forges a greater connection between private business, social enterprise and the issues of social value and, all together, those issue impacting our economic policy.
- Change and innovation are rarely led by public institutions although they can harbour effective receptor entrepreneurs. But in the context of pressured resources, of long standing and deep rooted inequalities and social problems, of challenges of increased globalization and the demand for greater localization, increased demands for greater control over our lives and the impact of social technology and technology generally in the way we make decisions, it is fairly clear that our public institutions as we are cannot make those changes on their own. We must work differently and collaboratively. We need to engage with others in innovative solutions. Public policy need to recognize that the transformative potential of doing things with people rather than to and for people – and really, that is the essence and the heart of social enterprise.
As Warren Bennis said, “There are two ways of being creative: one can sing and dance or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish.” So in this field of creativity we want to acknowledge that social enterprise is at the heart of what we need to do in the period going ahead and that public policy is the vehicle and framework that ought to be able to enable that to happen.
Neil McLean, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Academy
The first area I would like to focus on is that of partnerships working across all sectors to achieve social outcomes. The social enterprise business model is not an end in itself. The end is about social justice, social change and social impact.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves this question: ‘How do we as leaders, together solve these social challenges?’ Leaders from the public sector, private sector, the social enterprise sector and the third economy.
Mature discussion needs to take place about the forms of business model but need to understand that all these sectors – public, private and beyond – they are populated with people. People who have grandchildren, people who have parents, people who have grandparents and children, all of whom face social challenges. We need to engage these people together and have policies that recognize the need to create time to engage meaningfully and invest in the skills required to work authentically together.
I thought Al’s comments last night summed up well the challenges of coming together in collaboration. He mentioned the ‘stadium of ego’ being in the way and reminded me of a quote, also from Warren Bennis: “The ultimate challenge facing leaders is the choice between ego and integrity.” That’s a choice we face every day.
The second challenge that we are working on is the need for investment. “Investment” in every sense of the word: incentivising behaviour that will lead to more investing in social enterprises to create social solutions. Understanding that not every activity can be dealt with in a market sense, but that even those that cannot we need to understand that there is an exchange of value taking place between those who are addressing a social value and those that wish to support it. For example, Australia has released their pension schemes to allow individual management of those schemes so they can be invested in businesses and social business solutions. How do we learn from each other and rapidly introduce those solutions.
I would like to talk about one last item, which is really close to my heart. The Academy provides learning and education to adults and young people in the areas of entrepreneurship and leadership development. The phrase that I think sums it up best and the approach that we have to take for the next ten years is “Learning by doing to genuinely build capacity”. We must move beyond the resources in our community that happen to have an aptitude for academic excellence. It’s just one way of learning. Clearly, we need to be inspired by the superstars of social enterprise that we hear about in these kinds of conferences, but the few are not enough to solve all our problems. We need to engage the many in a meaningful way and they need to be supported to grow so they can contribute what they can on a strengths based model rather than a deficit based model (e.g. of the later, you can’t do things so we have to train you).
I would like to close with favourite quote of mine from a futurist called Alvin Toffler who says “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write; the illiterate of the 21st century will be those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” I think the best way of engaging in this learning is by doing it.
Mairi MacKay, Director of Society, British Council in East Asia
I am based in Beijing. I look after the society work that the British Council operates in East Asia and within that we operate a fairly large scale social enterprise program which has trained over 2,500 social entrepreneurs across the region in the last four to five years. We provide seed funding by working with many partners. We have about 100 different partners that we work with from all sectors East Asia and bring UK expertise into those markets to develop the ecosystem there. I could spend a lot of time talking about East Asia and what we are doing but I will focus on my three points. ,
My first point relates to systemic solutions through collaboration. Social enterprise is defined by a collective purpose which is to address social issues that mainstream economic systems have largely failed to and it is key then that the innovations we design are largely systemic. I agree whole hearted with the point that was made yesterday that deep collaboration is the key to making that happen and it is not easy. One reason it is not easy is because it keeps butting up against competitive economic systems that make deep and sustained collaboration very difficult. But collaboration is fundamentally different as business logic to the competitive world that we are used to and it is key to developing systemic change. So there is a real challenge and responsibility for those who are working in any kind of policy space or space of influence to be quite demanding of the level of collaboration we are prepared to work to get.
The second point I wanted to mention relates to the role of social capital and the way we understand social capital along with innovations in financial capital. Access to finance is, of course, a key issue all across the world and that’s certainly true in East Asia and China where we have trained 1,000 social entrepreneurs in the last four years. Very few of those social enterprises in China have reached scale yet and there is relatively few of them that have been sufficiently investment ready to get kind of investment they need to grow. As a result, one of the innovations we have delivered recently along with a number of partners is the launch of a social investment platform which is going to provide investment and incubation to a number of social enterprises to help them grow. It is very much a collaborative effort and gaining a lot of interest. The growing interest and awareness of social investment is obviously a very positive thing, however I am also struck by the relationships and trust that we have been able to build with the very many partners in the ecosystem we have been able to build is a very key factor in the success and co-creation that we are able to generate.
The British Council is the UK’s cultural relations organisation and its been trading in trust for many years and it’s that kind of convening power along with the credibility of the UK expertise that we have in this arena that has allowed us to get the kind of traction we have.
A number of speakers yesterday talked about the energy and momentum that is very tangible in many of our social enterprise communities and activities. I think that kind of energy, the relationships and trust that is there, is a social currency and capital that we need to understand better as we develop this arena so I am very interested in how we talk about social capital and financial capital together as sources of value.
Finally, transformative thought leadership is the last point I would to make. This movement will grow as fast as it is inclusive and that inclusiveness needs to extend quite boldly outside of the social enterprise movement to engage with the mainstream. We are talking about the rapid growth of the global social enterprise sector as a movement that is going to redefine our economies and it can very tempting to stay within our box but it is very important that we don’t do that because there is a much wider convergence taking place across corporates, the financial sector, the international development sector and we need to talk to that wider audience.
John Walker, Director General, Community Development and Partnerships Directorate, Employment and Social Development Canada
In terms of being a federal bureaucrat, we do in most cases when ideas come to us we apply a test to see if it meets some of the requirements we have and I think they will remain themes over the next ten years. So here are the three things that I think are and will be important to test our ideas together.
- The first is and always will remain “What is the public good?” In all of this, surely the absolute core test we need to apply is not the private interest, not the private good, but the public good of what we are trying to accomplish. Is it something about curing intractable social issues at the community level? Is it something about helping vulnerable populations in the workplace? Is it something about contributing to social inclusion?
The second and third will seem contradictory because they are.
- Have we managed to remain flexible? The more we try things out the more likely it is we will find models that are great and the human instinct is to say “that’s the model we should impose on everybody”. If we do that we will stiffly innovation and 2026 will look like today. So this test is be are we remaining flexible, are we learning from each other, but at the same time are we allowing the natural progression of human thought and innovation to change the model over time, to progress, to not become static.
- As we are doing that, do we still remain true to our roots? Do we still remember the core values and beliefs that underlie the development of social enterprise? Does is it remain about community, does it remain about innovation, does it still have an ideal of trying to marry public purpose and private interest together?
I want to see a new generation of bureaucrats. We call them procurement officers – people responsible for spending public money. I want them to cast of their names as ‘procurocrats’ and become superheroes.
It’s the way we spend money, particularly public money, which can really shape market behaviours across all sectors.
The next generation of ‘procurocrats’ should become our social enterprise superheroes.
Derek Gent, Executive Director, Vancity Community Foundation
I just want to start by saying at www.socialenterprisecanada.ca there is a very robust five point social policy framework that is laid out and has been based on cross-Canada consultation and rooted in practitioner experiences so I encourage you to go and have a look as practitioners and policy makers. It covers the things like building skills and capacity, access to capital markets and finance, access to consumer markets and procurement, developing a narrative and understanding, and the whole regulatory framework and how it doesn’t support social enterprise.
With full disclosure and biases stated here, I am going to double down or use my three dots on the access to capital issue.
In my day job I share accountability for an endowed charitable foundation and I am affiliated with an $18 billion financial institution so I tend to look at how the money moves as my basis.
I think there are some policy interventions that can make a huge difference and I will lead with shared and stacked loss reserves work. So the idea that we can spread the risk around and use well-structured – not 100% loan guarantees, in my experience they lead to bad decisions because that’s not shared the risk. The idea of pooled loss reserves – maybe 20% of the portfolio where you can write down 80% of the loss on an individual deal – can be used very effectively by financial institutions to take more risk than they would otherwise. Since 2010 less than 1% of our assets (Vancity) were actively invested in impact, it’s already at 20% and we are pushing for 50% of our endowment assets invested in impact through some creative use of risk allocation and other types of support that we had to self-generate.
Vancity Credit Union last year did $386 million in impact investing. It’s not the total answer but shared loss reserves allow us to be really incremental so I encourage the policy makers and others to think about how that is done.
To me it is part of the bigger issue of where risk is borne. Part of my concern in the stuff bubbling up is that the groups that traditionally don’t take any risk, governments and financial institutions, we have to be careful that the instruments we develop, SIBs is a good example, that the risk is not born by the government or the financial institutions, but by the non-profit organizations and the marginalised individuals who can least afford to bare it.
Government can absolutely help spread risk around. The government is us – it’s a democratic vehicle. Sir Cohen yesterday made a presentation about the growth of the social finance sector globally. For those who do not know Sir Cohen, he is renowned as the godfather of the private equity markets in the UK and when asked what the most important element is he said government intervention. There is absolutely an important role and if we look at other areas of the economy, government is fundamentally involved. Think about tax credits like they did with the mining sector. There are incredible structural incentives and credits to encourage that part of the economy.
We need to get organised and rather than being afraid of getting political we should be more actively political to push for those kinds of interventions that will help grow the market.
Molly Harrington, Assistant D.M., Policy & Research Div., Ministry of Social Development, Government of BC:
My day job is I am in charge of Welfare and Disability Assistance and my really exciting sometimes night job I am co-chair for something called Partners for Social Impact. Al Etmanski shares that co-chairing duties with me. And it’s only a result of that work that I am here today.
When I look to 2013 I see a major shift, and we are already in it, where we as government move from regulators of the welfare state to enablers of a social innovation society. Three things I think will be the harbingers of that:
- Earning trust: Government has to earn trust and we all have to earn trust with each other. Open government is a really big thing. Open data and the release of information, social media, open policy collaboration, and policy labs is a huge shift and by 2023 we will be in a much richer environment. A lot of government programs are arguably now solutions in search of a problem. As we built the welfare state in a benign effort to meet the public good, many times we protected people and, sadly, we encouraged them to hide the solutions that they indulged in everyday to survive. That includes families, communities and the not-for-profit sector. I think social enterprises are bringing that to the floor as they show there is a proven business case to support people, to do the things they need to survive
- Tripartite collaboration: The thing we learned in Partners for Social Innovation is that bringing the business community, the non-profit community sector, the family sector and government together is very, very powerful. It breaks down traditional binary relationships. Government has worked well with the private sector to build public private partnerships. Bringing community to that means there is a much more robust possibility of community benefit.
Government has worked with the not-for-profit sector. Bringing business to the table as there are putting their social impact dollars, their community responsibility dollars on the table means we can tap into their powerful ability for marketing, design and investment and all get a bigger bang of out bucks. When everyone wants to come to the table you know you have something going on in the social innovation space.
- Establishing shared social outcomes: This is actually the best leverage around. People want to end their careers, want to move through their lives saying they have done something meaningful. You can see that happening all over the place with philanthropic dollars being put on the table, government commitment, and families committing to something that resonates. In 2023 there will be a clear articulation of the simple small number of shared outcomes that we want and that are the key to access all kind of services.
Johanne Lavoie, Commissioner, Social Economy Bureau, City of Montreal
Montreal adopted a social economy policy in 2009. That means four years of practical experience with the implementation of our policy. Based on that experience I would like to share with you my three ‘must do’ things.
- Ensure the acknowledgement of the contribution of the social economy to the development of the city: It’s important to recognize its specific contribution to the cultural, social as well as economic development of the city or society (if you work on another scale). When the social economy is not recognized as a social force that contributes to society’s wealth it becomes difficult to obtain structuring help from public institutions or establish dialogue with the private sector. Next week in Quebec we will adopt the social economy law. Under this law, every ministry will have to develop an action plan to foster the social economy. Social economy enterprise will be booming after that.
- The creation of a follow-up steering committee: The committee should be mixed. Elected representatives, senior executives in the public body and players in the social economy should be appointed to this committee. It is a very important mechanism to ensure the implementation of the policy. It is not meant as a guard dog. It provides a place for discussion and debate. This is where difficulties are dealt with together and solutions are proposed. The committee has to be kept alive. It must meet more than once a year. We have done it all in Montreal, from zero to three times a year. Two meetings a year is a minimum, there is a good working number.
- Provide a budget to foster sustainable social economy: it may not always be possible for small cities or small public bodies to set aside a budget. But it doesn’t have to be a big budget that covers needs ‘wall to wall’. You could appoint an intern resource to work on the policy with the stakeholders. But, in the long run, budget allocation will become necessary; not only to help with support local social entrepreneur projects but help address more general issues. Right now, the City of Montreal is at this crossroad.
Peter Holbrook: In the UK we always have this debate about which government department should social enterprise sit in; should it be business or the social sector. It’s fantastic to hear the social economy is right through every department in Montreal.
To build shared value into the system, obviously it’s going to require both incentive and regulation, but what is going to be the most potent tool for the future, incentive or regulations?
Jonhanne Lavoie: Incentives, you have to support the civil society in their development, but if you don’t have the proper regulatory environment it will be almost impossible for them to develop. For example, in the procurement field, in Quebec there is a law that defines a procurement requirement and its actually difficult for the non-profit organization to profit from that procurement.
Katherine Hewson: I do think it’s a bit of both but you need the regulatory system in order to create the opportunity to move away from incentives. It is dangerous to work on the basis of incentives as it can change from political party to political party. But if you can create a regulatory environment where you can access private capital and make that connection happen I think you can move away a little bit from incentives.
Derek Gent: It’s interesting because I am constantly advocating for niceties because I think there is more political will behind it, but when I think about it I think regulation is a lot more powerful. When I think of our own experience in Vancity we got real uptake when stuff wasn’t just suggested or encouraged but mandated. ‘You are going to do this much’ and people found a way to do it. – [he is thinking of mandating though]
John Walker: For the government at least I think incentive is most important, but incentive comes from the community and the people in this room and that’s the leadership option. Government, to enable that, will sometimes mean getting out of the way and sometimes creating a regulatory environment.
Question: A lot of you have talked about collaboration. Is there a particular person or process relating to collaboration that you could talk a bit more about?
Katherine Hewson: One way of collaborating was done on the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act which is to work with one organization that becomes a spokesperson and network for and have some informed dialogue. Government in that case provided some funding to enable the capacity for the dialogue to occur more fully.
There’s some very innovative things going on in Ontario around the Condominium Act where you get citizen panels that help government develop policy jointly and you get a lot of different input that way.
Mairi MacKay: In East Asia it’s quite exciting because we are beginning to scale up our work through collaboration with some of the people in the UK. We have the grassroots social enterprises engaging with social finance and it’s also helping inform policy dialogue.
John Walker: There is a revolution happening with the Federal Government. One example is we have started having cross-departmental conversations and the group has grown from five or six people to 10 to 30 to 60 people from other departments so there is a burgeoning new level of collaboration within the federal government.
Yvonne Strachan: There is one example that we are quite excited about because it is a huge challenge is ‘how do you deliver your public services as a government in an environment where you have an aging population, where you know you are going to have resources that are declining and there is going to be an increased demand on those services? Our collaboration with social enterprise has been there from the beginning and is about how we do that differently. We don’t have all the answers but we have been benefiting from the engagement of social enterprises.
Question: Can you give examples of how, in government, government can work across departments to have that inclusion so that when we are developing small business policy we can include social innovation?
Molly Harrington: In BC we have a Minister of Social Innovation and we also have an across government ADM committee and that has been quite important otherwise social innovation can get dropped into one department but it actually does apply to all departments and all ministries. I was talking to Rachel Holmes, and Rachel has done a lot of work and I want to give huge credit to Enterprising Non-Profits and I don’t think the social enterprise space would be anywhere near what it is now without the work of David LePage and Enterprising Non-Profits. As a result of working with Enterprising Non-Profits we have integrated social enterprise into all our small and medium size business programming.
Yvonne Strachan: There are some things government can do that helps. In our own system in the Scottish Government we have a number of things that help to create the framework. First off, we have the National Purpose – that you must have sustainable economic growth but so that all can flourish. This intertwines economic growth and the social purposes as key to all that government does. This informs the link to small enterprise and social enterprise activity, although we still have a ways to go on that.
Question: Is Vancity Credit Union interested in having some relationship with public banking given some depositors are now considered unsecured creditors whose bank deposits can be confiscated to pay for bank insolvency?
Derek Gent: The answer to that is well above my pay grade but I think it is interesting and I don’t think it’s an accident that the current CEO of Vancity Credit Union was the former Deputy Minister of Finance in the province. We do a lot of collaboration with various levels of government because there is so much public interest being generated and at some level banking is almost like an essential service. Banking is fundamentally built into how we live so there are some interesting connections with government. Public banking is probably over the top for us but definitely a lot of interconnection.
Question: I think the panel has done an amazing job of describing what they want to have happen in 2023 but for many countries like the United States we are in a crawl, we are in the infancy of really getting government to understand the value of social enterprise. We are interested in the how. What messages did you tell government that were particularly persuasive, how did you get advocates to respond to calls to action and any advice you can give to jurisdictions that are in the crawl stage?
Yvonne Strachan: Many politicians run not for self-gain but because they want to do something good for the public. It’s about tapping into those values and seeing where the connections are. It’s also about enabling people to see the reality. When people are exposed to social enterprise and what’s happening on the ground that can be a motivator beyond all else. It’s an exposure to our story. So telling the story is really critical. You also have to create the engagement between the politicians and those who know the issue externally. In the Scottish context we have the positions we have not because government was driving it, although we have a fantastic Cabinet Secretary who believes passionately in this but because there was a constant engagement and dialogue right the way through between those who were in social enterprises, the communities who had the experience, the politicians who were there and, following up behind, the bureaucrats or civil servants as we call them creating the means for that to develop.
Molly Harrington: That is very much in line with the experience in British Columbia. It is definitely a framework for collaboration, political will, available social capital, and inspired local leadership that was willing to step out and give the politicians the cover they needed to take a chance. We actually created a policy framework and the year since has been a year of application where we said “great, we need stories.” You really needed both – the policy framework to lay the groundwork and then constant application and then you distill and improve the framework.
Question: The original role of business and enterprise was in the service of society. Now society is very much in service of business and the market. How do we preserve the social element in society so that we are not in fact selling the social dimension of social enterprise far short?
Derek Gent: I was at a national gathering of all the not-for-profit and charitable sector last year and Bob Wyatt of the Muttart Foundation said “When I grew up it seemed in a society but now it seems I live in an economy.” That really stuck with me. There is a danger here in going down the social enterprise path that we don’t pay enough attention to the social and the strength of the not-for-profit and charitable sector where a lot of this is happening. If business just comes in and railroads this at the expense of the non-for-profit, cooperative and charitable sectors, then we have done a huge disservice. We have to strengthen those sectors because that’s where I see the rubber hitting the road.
Peter Holbrook: I do believe that social enterprise is a means to an end and not an end in itself but I also believe that we have to get at the heart of what we are trying to do – we are trying to reform our some of our capitalist systems that is killing our planet and devastating our communities. What I always struggle with is PLCs. PLCs believe they have a legal and fiduciary duty to only go after their shareholders’ primary interest and they are almost constrained from putting other causes or issues into the hearts of those businesses if it cists their shareholders major returns or dividends. That’s a major issue and government needs to think about whether the PCL model is fit for the modern complex problems that we are grappling with. Of course, you have institutional investors, like pension funds, that are also under the belief that they must maximize financial return and not give as much consideration, if any at all, to social and environmental requirements. Does government need to reform the corporations act and get to the heart of the problem? World Economic Forum says inequality is the greatest threat to humanity, a threat even greater than global warming and climate change – and yet inequality is one of the least discussed of the major issues affecting society and I think that is where the discussion needs to go. Why we do this – it’s about shared sustainable prosperity and I genuinely believe that social enterprise has a very significant role it trying to create that shared sustainable prosperity that we need so much.
More About SEWF
The Trico Charitable Foundation was honoured to host SEWF 2013. It made history in a number of ways – it was a first for Canada and attracted a record number of speakers and attendees (1,000 individuals from more than 30 countries and over 100 speakers from 20 countries) – but we are most proud of the quality of the discussions on Skills Building, Social Finance, Indigenous Social Enterprise, Collaboration, Policy and Research, and Social Innovation.
A special thanks to Photos With Finesse by Suzan McEvoy for the pictures, BizBOXTV for producing the videos, and Employment and Social Development Canada for helping to make this post-event coverage possible.
We would also like to thank the following partners for making SEWF 2013 possible:
- Social Enterprise Council of Canada
- MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
- Social Innovation Generation (SiG)
- The Canadian Community Economic Development Network
- Government of Canada
- Canadian Youth Business Foundation (now Futurepreneur)
- Social Change Rewards
Friends of SEWF:
Each year SEWF gives a different host country an incredible opportunity to celebrate and nurture its own social enterprise movement. The inaugural SEWF met in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since then it has been to Melbourne, Australia; San Francisco, U.S.A; Johannesburg, Africa; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Learn more about SEWF’s history here.