SEWF Community Hub Spotlight – Choices for Youth, Newfoundland and Labrador

by Mirabelle Morah / September 2021

Choices for Youth (CFY) strives to provide at-risk youth and emerging adults with programming and services that meet their present and long-term needs. Currently, CFY is one of the 20+ organisations across the globe, set to host a Community Hub during SEWF 2021.

Signal Hill National Historic Site
Signal Hill National Historic Site, Newfoundland and Labrador

The excitement to host a Community Hub in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Back in 2018 delegates from CFY attended the Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh, Scotland and while there, they formed relationships internationally, got inspired by the energy and commitment to creating social value across the globe and brought that energy back to their home province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.  

“We have a thriving social enterprise ecosystem in our province where community resilience, culture and creativity are driving social and economic change. As a community of social innovation organisations, our Social Enterprise and Innovation Coalition made the decision to work together to host the SEWF Community Hub in our community. Our Coalition represents organisations from the housing and homelessness, food services, and technology sectors. It includes representation from Indigenous communities and includes those working to advance social impact through both cooperatives social enterprises” the team at CFY explains.

As a Coalition of social innovation organisations and institutions, Choices for Youth saw the need to create space to convene the social enterprise sector to conceptualise how they could support their communities during this time of economic recovery. The SEWF Community Hub was the perfect mechanism to bring practitioners, partners, industry and stakeholders together not only to learn and be inspired, but also to regroup as a province and a sector and ask: How might we collectively define the pathway to recovery with social, environmental and economic priorities to ensure a bright future for Newfoundland and Labrador?

Also read:  May opportunities for social innovators
Choices for Youth
Choices for Youth event

Plans and activities to look out for at the Newfoundland and Labrador Community Hub  

“We have a full day of in-person activities planned; that is a mix of streaming live SEWF content and pairing it with local panel discussions, a world café on specific industries and a hope to leave with a strategic vision for the social innovation sector in the province. In the evening, we are hosting a networking mixer and panel on social finance and offering the opportunity to connect investors with the community in non-traditional spaces.”

On specific local issues SEWF 2021 can help participants at the Hub look into

The team at CFY hopes to ignite a stronger collective approach to solving their province’s social, environmental and economic challenges through hosting their own SEWF 2021 Community Hub in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Communities have been sustainably impacted by the reverberating effects of COVID19 and they see this sector playing a huge role in their recovery.  

“We are seeking to mobilise the sector to support one another, find new ways of working and catalyse a collective vision for our future. To that end, our programming is looking to highlight four topics:

  1. Scaling Social Enterprises in NL – What does the Sector Need to Grow? A panel discussion exploring the social enterprise ecosystem in NL and what is required for further preparation (including impact measurement, incubation, acceleration, and scaling).
  2. World café – NL’s Emerging Industry-Based Social Enterprises: Enjoy a meal while hearing from various industry-based social enterprises across NL on their successes, failures, and next steps (e.g. childcare, food systems, construction, arts, environmental, culture & tourism, health and senior support/homecare, retail, technology, entrepreneurship, etc.)
  3. Addressing Housing and Homelessness through Social Enterprise: A panel discussion on the topic of social enterprise housing solutions and how to increase community-supported housing through social enterprise.
  4. Social Finance & Social Enterprises – Financing Social Impact: Evening panel discussion & networking event on the topic of securing private and public capital to grow the social enterprise ecosystem in NL”.
(L-R)Jen Crowe, Chelsey MacNeil
(L-R)Jen Crowe, Chelsey MacNeil, CFY

The SEWF impact on Choices for Youth 

“We were able to make lasting relationships, be inspired and engage in stimulating discussions that influenced our vision for what is possible in our community. Social enterprise and social innovation work can start with a small act with big vision — we have taken that with us and it has created substantial change in our communities”.  

Hopes for the impact of the Community Hub in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

“As a Coalition of Social Enterprise and Social Innovation organisations, we have a bold vision. It is to convene and catalyse provincial conversations regarding social enterprise and social innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador. SEWF is the perfect way for us to mobilise that vision by convening the sector to set the course, identify our collective priorities and activate conversations about a community centered future”.

Choices for Youth (CFY) is one of the organisations to host an in-person Community Hub during SEWF 2021. Community Hubs will have the opportunity to host their own experience tailored to their communities. Designed by and for social enterprises, #SEWF2021 is the event for the global social enterprise community. Join this event to connect with thousands of leading social entrepreneurs, access world-class content and be part of the world’s largest social enterprise conversation! Get your ticket.

Mirabelle Morah is the community and communications manager at SEWF