Year: 2017

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New speaker announced for SEWF 2017

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Posted by: Jo Seagrave / 12 May 2017

Graham Lewis, CEO and Co-Founder of Green Propellor, Canada is a passionate social innovator with a breadth of international experience in social enterprise. He is responsible for creating a variety of social enterprises with Green Propellor being his latest venture. Graham will bring vast knowledge and learning to Social Enterprise World Forum 2017.

 

To find out more about Graham, click here

If you are interested in speaking at SEWF2017, contact the team here

For further information on the event including the programme, other speakers or how to register, click here

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By David LePage

With the growth of big box stores and franchised retail outlets, the emergence of social enterprise is an invigorating option in the retail landscape. Many social enterprises arise as new retail entries directly responding to a community need.

However, two recent transactions illustrate how social enterprise is also a valuable tool that can be used to sustain and enhance existing community assets.

One example demonstrates how social enterprises can sustain assets in a rural community when a family-owned business owner retires. The other example shows how a social enterprise can increase the social value of multiple government-owned commercial properties in an urban area through the creation of a blended value property portfolio.

Example #1 – What happens when rural small business owners retire?

Answer: A social enterprise steps in to work with the family to keep the business going and growing.

The Yellow Barn produce store and restaurant is a fixture for many customers in the rural (but urbanizing) communities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack just east of Vancouver. With a menu of homemade pies, pickles and an outlet for fresh produce from local farmers in the summer months, it serves as an important place for the community to socialize over coffee, creating local employment and directly contributing to a local economy. But when the key family members who operate the restaurant decided to retire, the whole family was left in a quandary of how to retain the value they created and possibly extend the family legacy.

“Our family spent thirty years building the business as a service and social gathering place for the community. With my mom, dad and sister retiring, we couldn’t imagine a better way to extend the family efforts than leasing to a social enterprise”.
– Dale Hodgins, family member.

A lease agreement between the family and the Abbotsford based MCC Community Enterprises, an experienced operator of several social enterprises, means the business remains open and potentially adds further community and social value through the social enterprise mandates of MCC Community Enterprises.

“MCC Community Enterprises is a community based non-profit organization that already operates several social enterprises. The Yellow Barn was a natural addition – allowing us to maintain the local business and potentially create a site for job training and added targeted employment opportunities”.
– Ron Van Wyk Executive Director, MCCCE.

This social enterprise model has relevance in many rural communities where small business owners reach retirement and essential services like groceries, gas, hardware, and social sites like restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops face closure.
These businesses may not have a traditional ‘financial market’ value to allow them to be sold outright, but they have very strong ‘community market’ value that requires a new type of investment option. A social enterprise creates a community-owned business model for continuing their essential roles in the community.

For the Yellow Barn, that was the answer.

Example #2 – What happens when one of Canada’s poorest communities struggles with the impacts of gentrification, including the loss of affordable retail options and coffee shops, and far fewer places for low-income residents just to socialize?

Answer: A social enterprise model is designed that allows the provincial government to transform their commercial property into a community asset. Community Impact Real Estate Society, CIRES, was created to hold the head lease and operate the approximately 70 commercial properties in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) on behalf of BC Housing, with a primary mission to create community value and maintain financial sustainability.

CIRES will have a blended value mandate in managing the commercial properties. Some will rent at market rent, others below market in exchange for social impact, such as targeted employment for persons with barriers, social enterprise space, or non-profit use. CIRES’ financial pro-forma predicts a profitable operation that can use its surpluses to re-invest in further social enterprise development and mitigation of retail gentrification in the area. The hope is that the City of Vancouver will add more properties to the portfolio, and then the next step is to add properties held by the private sector as well.

“The DTES Community Economic Development Community Advisory Committee is hopeful that CIRES, another social enterprise in our neighbourhood, will be the generator of even greater local economic and social impact, especially serving the needs of the low income community members.”
– Steven Johnston, CEDSAC Director

In the past, one-off changes in government property have happened, but in this case shifting a whole portfolio will definitely change the landscape as well as the use and purpose of retail and other commercial space in a designated area. The social value impact of CIRES will be core to measuring its success. Yes, the financials look and should be sound, but CIRES’ role of strengthening social capital, creating target employment, and economic inclusion through the portfolio tenant choices will be the ultimate test.

These are just two examples of how social enterprises in rural and urban settings are emerging as a significant tool to address community based economic and social value market needs. The approach works across many communities because social enterprises are businesses with an intentional and measureable social value and have a commitment to the majority of profits being reinvested into the community.

Accelerating Social Impact, a Community Contribution Company focused on creating a social value market place, provided significant consulting support and guidance on the design and development of these two projects. For more information contact:

David LePage
david@asiccc.ca
778-772-3472
www.asiccc.ca

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Nova Scotia Social Enterprise Sector Strategy 2017

On Wednesday, April 12th the Government of Nova Scotia gave formal recognition to the thriving social enterprise sector in its province, releasing the official Framework for Advancing Social Enterprise in conjunction with the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia’s Sector Strategy. In doing so, they take a significant step forward in creating true prosperity across our province.

This Provincial Framework and Sector Strategy represent the most progressive and well thought out social enterprise policy in the country, showing Nova Scotia’s position as a centre of excellence for social enterprise development in Canada and marking the beginning of leveling the playing field for all business types.

The process of building these documents is a testament to the fact that many people share a sense of hope that we can, and will do better in business.

This Provincial Framework and Sector Strategy represent the most progressive and well-thought-out social enterprise policy in the country, showing Nova Scotia’s position as a centre of excellence for social enterprise development in Canada and marking the beginning of levelling the playing field for all business types. 

In every corner of our province you can see people and organizations building and running businesses that create social, cultural, and environmental value. This is social enterprise. It is not a new business model. It is not a fad. It is here to stay.
– Cathy Deagle-Gammon, President, SENNS

To Nova Scotia’s 1000+ social enterprises and budding social enterprises, thank you for making Nova Scotia a world leader in business that builds community value with every transaction.

Please download the Sector Strategy here.

 

Social Enterprise Framework for Nova Scotia

Increasingly, Nova Scotians are not satisfied with choosing between being in business or helping people.They know they can do both, and they want to do more. That’s why they’re turning to social enterprises to support the economy and give back to communities across the province. Government’s Framework for Advancing Social Enterprise supports this vision for vibrant communities.

It’s also an important part of growing the economy in new and innovative ways. This document outlines government’s priorities and the actions it will take in the coming years to create a thriving, sustainable social enterprise sector. This framework was developed through consultations with the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia (SENNS) and leaders from social enterprises, enabling organizations, and government partners. This framework uses the policy pillars developed by the Social Enterprise Council of Canada as a model. There is a growing role for social enterprises in the future of Nova Scotia’s economy. Advancing the social enterprise sector is a priority because social enterprises create job opportunities and other economic benefits–particularly in rural communities – while improving those communities socially, environmentally, and culturally.

– Mark Furey, Minister of Business, Nova Scotia

Please download the Framework document here.

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A new era for social enterprise in Victoria

Category: Uncategorized

Posted by: SEWF admin / 17 February 2017

Today’s launch of a new Social Enterprise Strategy by the Victorian Government is an exciting milestone for the future development and growth of social enterprise in Victoria and Australia.

I am pleased that social enterprise is being recognised as a legitimate and growing part of the Victorian economy, and am confident that this leadership will encourage other jurisdictions around Australia to follow.

The Strategy provides the framework for stronger growth of social enterprise across Victoria in the coming years by:

  • Removing a big policy vacuum, that will enable social enterprises to start-up and operate across the State within a far more positive and conducive environment
  • Raising the profile of social enterprise endorsing it as a valuable and important part of local communities
  • Committing to the development of a social procurement framework that will open up more contracts for social enterprise to purchase goods and services from Government

Over the last eight years, Social Traders has played an active role in raising the profile and supporting development of social enterprise thanks to seed funding from the Victorian Government and Dara Foundation. We strongly endorse the key elements of the Government’s Strategy, which builds on the existing base.

David Brookes, Managing Director

Victoria State Government Social Enterprise Strategy

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SEWF 2017 Programme Reveal!

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Posted by: SEWF admin / 31 January 2017

Akina Foundation have now launched the programme for this year’s SEWF in Christchruch New Zealand! Read below for more information.

The theme for SEWF 2017, “Ka koroki te manu – Creating our tomorrow”, is an invitation to create a global legacy of positive change and to take an active role in shaping the world’s future. Just as the first birdsong welcomes the potential of tomorrow, SEWF 2017 is a chance to come together and explore the endless possibility in ours.

Programme overview

The programme gives delegates a chance to personalise their experience, with multiple streams and activities to choose from. The various streams and the participative format of the forum will enable us to celebrate diversity, share real stories and insights, inform, inspire, educate and learn from each other.

This is an overview of the three days of the forum. More details about specific sessions or events will be released soon.

Check out our confirmed speakers – more of them will be announced soon!

View the Programme Overview

Find out more

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