Friday: “Big Idea” Sessions

Moving Toward Reconciliation through Social Enterprise

Reconciliation of Indigenous Peoples and Canadians is one of the defining issues of our current times. This is a journey that must be walked together with open minds, dialogue, respect and action. Many people working in this sector believe social enterprise development can be an action that moves towards goals of economic resiliency, autonomy, and prosperity of Indigenous people. Join Sarah Leeson-Klym in dialogue with Jerry Woods as they discuss the potential of social enterprise to move us together towards a better relationship.

  • Jerry Woods, Couchiching First Nation, co-founder of BUILD, and former Manitoba Human Rights Commission Chairperson
  • Sarah Leeson-Klym, Canadian CED Network

Promoting Inclusion through Social Enterprise

Many of Canada’s leading social enterprises focus on helping individuals facing barriers to inclusion and employment through innovative practices, socially responsible business models and supportive employment. This work isn’t always easy but it is one of the most promising impacts social enterprise is making. Nitika and Kristine from the Mental Health Commission of Canada will lead this session, presenting findings from the the MHCC’s Social Business Forum and engaging participants in discussion about how social enterprise can be a force for social inclusion around a range of barriers and challenges people face.

  • Nitika Rewari – Manager, Workplace Mental Health, MHCC
  • Kristine Houde -Program Manager, Workplace Mental Health, MHCC

Scaling Up/Out

This session will feature three different models for how social enterprises can achieve great impact by scaling up and scaling out. Speakers will include:

  • Michael Townsend, Executive Director of the Directions Council
  • Bob Prenevost
  • Marcia Nozick

Social Enterprise Finance

This session will feature a panel of speakers, who will provide their perspectives on emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges in financing social enterprise, including:

  • David Upton – Co-founder of Common Good Solutions, Inc.
  • Brendan Reimer – Strategic Partner, Values-Based Banking at Assiniboine Credit Union

Social Enterprise Institute Online – a revolutionary model for social enterprise training

The Social Enterprise Institute is an action-based online learning platform with tools social entrepreneurs can access to solve the issues they’re facing.  These issues can be around business techniques for social enterprise, as well as topics like mission, leadership and impact measurement. With the most basic courses available for free, anyone can get started in making an impact.

This session will introduce the very new Social Enterprise Institute, and will introduce attendees to the course content, features and benefits.  Using the site, a session will be facilitated around one course in the site: Opportunity Identification, teaching attendees how they can identify the best social enterprise ideas they can pursue.

  • Stephanie Pronk, Common Good Solutions Inc.

Social Procurement

Moderated by David LePage, this session will focus on the emerging role that purchasing by large corporations and government agencies can play in opening new and important markets for social enterprise. Ontario’s Office for Small and Medium Enterprise will be on hand to tell their story.

Other Big Ideas

Andy Horsnell will lead an open session in the main hall, where participants will bring other big ideas that they’d like to discuss with their peers. Housing? Professional certification? High tech? Makers’ spaces? Climate change? Urban agriculture? Social enterprise and localization? For-profit versus nonprofit? Bring whatever you’ve got to this session and see where it goes. Questions to answer will include:

  1. What is it?
  2. How is it making communities better?
  3. What are the challenges and opportunities?  
  4. What can we do?

To prime the pump a little, you may want to check out these resources:

SECC Social Enterprise Definition
Social enterprises are community-based businesses that sell goods or services in the market place to achieve a social, cultural and/or environmental purpose; they reinvest their profits to maximize their social mission.
SECC Vision, Mission, and Goal
We envision vibrant community-based social enterprises successfully contributing to creating healthy communities. Our Mission is to convene, inform and influence community-based social enterprises and their key stakeholders. Our strategic goal is to insure social enterprises have a supportive ecosystem that: · Enhances Their Business Skills · Assures Access To Capital · Creates Market Opportunities · Recognizes Their Impact · Provides Supportive Legislation And Regulations