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Canada’s Top 5 Social Entrepreneurs Chosen by Mount Royal Students

An update on a new social enterprise course offered by Mount Royal University, Calgary

Over the month of September, thirteen ambitious Mount Royal University students created individual lists and presented their picks of Canada’s Top Social Entrepreneurs for 2020. Taught by Dr. Catherine Pearl, Associate Professor, Social Innovation, the Social Enterprising course introduced the students to social enterprise thought leaders and organizations from across the country.

The class defined social enterprise as: “Social enterprises are organizations that address a basic unmet need or solve a social or environmental problem through a market driven approach. (SEA, 2020).”

After each student presented their top 5 picks, the entire class formed a ‘collaboratory’ and together compiled their list of Canada’s top five social entrepreneurs for 2020:

  1. Lourdes Juan started her endeavors with a for-profit spa and an urban planning development group before co-founding Fresh Routes, and founding Leftovers Foundation.
  2. Larissa CrawfordFuture Ancestors provides: training, research, facilitation, and consulting services on topics such as climate justice, and anti-racism.
  3. Devon Fiddler– The pillars of SheNative are: empower women, educate the public on Indigenous issues, and have a place for storytelling. A percentage of the profits go towards helping women leave violent situations.
  4. Matt Wittek– The Fill it Forward app allows you to track your impact and contribute to giving projects, every time you reuse.
  5. Alyssa BertramEasy is helping Kenyan women and adolescent girls address the daunting challenge of securing safe and proper materials to use during their menstrual cycle. Easy is helping to bring attention to this issue and is taking action to promote education and access to safe products for all girls and women.


The students agreed that each of these people have dedicated their lives and their organizations to many of the complex problems that are embedded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals  (SDG’s) and as innovative leaders deeply understand the leverage points in the systems they are trying to change.

Here are a few ways we can help (according to the students):

  1. Order from Fresh Routes
  2. Buy a gift for someone you love at SheNative
  3. Download the Fill It Forward app (it’s free)
  4. Consider donating to Easy (and order their services), and Future Ancestors
“This was a great way for the students to dig deep and learn more about social enterprise; what it is and what it is not. We know from research that the SDG’s are setting the stage for many emerging and established industries and this represents a huge opportunity for social purpose businesses and nonprofit social enterprises alike.” –Catherine Pearl
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