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YWCA Metro Vancouver, Hotel/Residence: Social EnterPrize Case Study


“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” – Native American Proverb

Excerpt from the Trico Charitable Foundation’s Introduction to the case studies:

“Storytelling is one of the most powerful forces in humanity. As a private foundation, we have learned that our work is better when we tell stories and when we listen to them. One of the great challenges to advancing social entrepreneurship lies in the way we tell our stories. What is needed are stories that reveal, and perhaps even revel in, the hard-fought journeys and extraordinary impact that are at the heart of being a successful social entrepreneur.


To these ends, we saw an opportunity with the Social EnterPrize recipients to have their story told in a much deeper way than we had ever attempted before. The result is a series of social entrepreneurship case studies that, in terms of the breadth of the organizations studied and the depth of the analysis, is the first of its kind in Canada.”

This is blog highlights the YWCA Metro Vancouver, Hotel/Residence case study, the first of four:

Subject Post-Secondary Institution
YWCA Metro Vancouver, Hotel/Residence Okanagan School of Business, Okanagan College
TurnAround Couriers Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
EMBERS Staffing Solutions Sauder Centre for Social Innovation & ImpactInvesting, Sauder School of Business, TheUniversity of British Columbia
JUMP Math QSB Centre for Social Impact, Queen’s School of Business



While the four case studies reveal interesting patterns (more on this to follow), each also has its unique aspects. For the YWCA Metro Vancouver, Hotel/Residence, it is the incredibly symbiotic and beautifully strategic relationship with its parent organization, the YWCA Metro Vancouver.

That said, there are plenty of insights for any social entrepreneur, including:

  • Tweaking the Model, Complexity Grows
  • Business Discipline
  • Social Discipline
  • The Discipline of a Diversified Strategy
  • Continual Adaption and Learning
  • Be Open to, But Cautious of, Growth and Opportunities
  • Authentic Assessment
  • Engaging Staff
  • Board Leadership and Buy-in
  • Dual Purpose
  • Be Realistic About Your Offering and Know Your Demographic
  • Promoting the Social Brand

Click here to read the case study.

See Videos of previous Social EnterPrize recipients.

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