Social Innovation Media Scan, Compliments of Joel Casselman

 The following information covers March 28 through April 2, 2015, inclusively.


The inaugural Big Ideas Challenge for Health and Wellbeing<> was held at the University of Waterloo on March 30, 2015.  Nine teams pitched their ideas for new social ventures to a panel, with the winning team receiving space at St. Paul’s GreenHouse, a campus-linked accelerator residence that focuses on social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Le Forum Jeunesse de l’Île de Montréal offre des Bourses Osez l’économie sociale<>.  Il y aura deux bourses de 5 000 $ offertes à deux entreprises d’économie sociale dirigées par des jeunes (18 à 35 ans).  De plus, trois bourses d’une valeur de 1 000 $ permettront à des entreprises d’économie sociale dirigées par des jeunes d’occuper une place dans l’un des espaces de travail partagés montréalais.

ImpactOntario<> is soliciting applications from impact ventures seeking investment (debt or equity) capital.  Finalists will be invited to present their proposals to a panel at MaRS Discovery District on May 25, 2015.  The deadline for applications is 5 pm on April 17, 2015.

John Mighton, founder and Chief Creative Officer, JUMP Math<> was the only Canadian among the 15 recipients of the Schwab Foundation’s 2015 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Awards<>.

Innspire, a social enterprise developed by five business students from Okanagan College, won first prize at the Enactus Western Canadian regional championships<> that was held in Calgary, AB.  The winners will now proceed to the national finals that will be held in Toronto in May 2015.

Liam Black (one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs) spoke in Calgary with Enterprising Non-Profits<> about the need for social entrepreneurs to build value creating coalitions with the corporate and financial sectors of the economy.

International News

(USA) For its 3rd annual edition held on April 30, 2015, Start-Up City: Miami partnered with Miami Soup to host a social entrepreneur competition<>.  The event featured presentations of three local social innovation projects; attendees voted on a winner that received a SOUP microgrant of $2,000.

(Germany)  The Guardian carried an article describing how Berlin<> has become a hub for creative sustainable and social businesses through the presence of collaborative spaces such as the Social Impact Lab.

(USA) Youth Villages will participate in a partnership with Multnomah and Marion counties in Oregon to assess the feasibility of implementing a Pay for Success model<> to help youth with emotional and behavioral problems and their families.  The two counties were selected with 6 other recipients as part of a national competition by Third Sector Capital Partners Inc. that will provided the recipients technical assistance toward a Pay for Success initiative.

(UK) The Alternative Commission on Social Investment<> released the report After the Gold Rush<>, which includes 50 recommendations to improve the country’s social investment market, including less hype, more transparency from lenders and more focus on the needs of charities and social enterprises.

(USA)  The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University announced that it was in the early stages of the creation of a social entrepreneurship lab<> that will provide financial, academic, and faculty resources for Kennedy School students launching social ventures.

(Ghana) Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, announced his government’s commitment to promoting social enterprises<> as a means of creating jobs, enhancing economic development, and addressing social and environmental problems during a Social Enterprise Policy Dialogue, under the auspices of the country’s National Development Planning Commission and the British Council.

(USA) ImpactBase, an online database of impact investment funds and products designed for investors, released a report, ImpactBase Snapshot<>, a comprehensive analysis of the more than 300 funds on ImpactBase. The report provides a look at the current intermediary landscape, providing information on fund activity, track record, social and environmental metrics, target returns and fundraising.

Events & Conferences

Les Pôles de l’économie sociale tiendront un webinaire, l’apport des jeunes aux Canada d’entreprises d’économie sociale<>, le 7 avril 2015 entre 12h et 13h.  Ce webinaire vise à faire connaître l’intérêt aux gestionnaires et administrateurs d’entreprises d’économie sociale d’attirer des jeunes au sein de leurs conseils d’administration et à motiver les jeunes qui souhaitent s’impliquer dans leur milieu à intégrer les conseils d’administrations d’entreprises d’économie sociale.

MaRS will be hosting a webinar<> from 12 pm to 1 pm, on April 9, 2015, about the use of Social Impact Bonds as a method funding endeavours to deal with homelessness, and the selection of suitable partners for such an endeavour.

Innoweave, in partnership with United-Way and SiG@Waterloo will be hosting an all-day Scaling Impact Workshop<>, in Toronto, ON on April 9, 2015.  The workshop will examine the requirements for scaling an initiative, as well as associated risks and opportunities, and the steps in undertaking a scaling strategy.

Local Prosperity will be hosting the conference Local Prosperity: New Economics for Rural Canada<>, on April 9 to 15, in Annapolis County, NS.  The conference will examine how individuals, businesses, and communities can design and then implement a practical blueprint for a prosperous future and a healthy economy – a future that is cooperative, compassionate, and long-term.

The Social Economy Centre at the University of Toronto will be hosting an all day workshop, Evaluation for Non-Profit Organizations<>, on April 10, 2015.  Participants will be introduced to evaluation principles and practices that help non-profits make the best use of evaluation for learning and accountability.

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