Social Innovation Media Scan – April 25-May 1, 2015, Compliments of Joel Casselman

The following information covers April 25 through May 1, 2015, inclusively.


The Ontario Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund<> awarded $450,000 to the Wabutek Business Development Corporation<> to provide capital to local social entrepreneurs in 27 First Nations communities in northeastern Ontario, $450,000 to the Community Foundations of Canada<> to create a youth catalyst fund that will provide debt and equity financing for upstart Ontario-based social enterprises geared towards youth unemployment and $250,000 to the Ottawa Community Loan Fund<> to finance local fledgling enterprises.

The Capacity Builders Collective<> (a coalition of over 20 community builders, including the Centre for Social Innovation, Social Venture Partners Toronto and Toronto Plus Acumen) announced the inaugural PhilanthroPitch pilot project where charities, non-profits and for-profit social enterprises will compete for part of a prize pool of approximately $30,000 in cash and other prizes at MaRS on June 2, 2015.  The deadline for applications is May 8, 2015.

Tamarack’s blog<> carried a posting describing how social justice needs to be an integral part of social innovation if it is to promote true social change and development.

Simon Fraser University received $1.9 million in funding from RBC<> that will be used to finance the RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator, which will serve as a catalyst and resource for sustainable economic growth and diversification, including social enterprise, in Aboriginal communities, and the RBC Award in Aboriginal Business and Leadership, which will provide scholarships for the next 10 years to encourage Aboriginal undergraduate and graduate students at SFU to consider entrepreneurship as a career option.

Witnesses from the Government of the United Kingdom, Vancity Credit Union, and SVX provided insight to members of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA)<> on April 28, 2015 as part of the committee’s ongoing study on the potential of social finance in Canada.

International News

(USA) FOCUS Foods Inc. won the $50,000 grand prize in the social enterprise category at the Harvard Business School’s New Venture Competition<>, an annual competition that financially supports University students and alumni launching new businesses.  Runner ups were awarded $25,000 each with a total of $300,000 in cash and in-kind services distributed evenly among social enterprise and business track categories.

(Singapore) 40 students at the National University of Singapore Business School<> took part in a project to assess the performance of a pool of 24 social enterprises to decide which five would be eligible for a total of $30,000 in investment funding.

(USA) 20 finalists from throughout the San Diego area will be taking part in the 5th Annual Social Innovation Challenge<> for a chance to win $75,000 in seed funding to address issues such as poverty, education, economic development, health and technology.

(Malaysia) The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) will propose the establishment of an ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Social Innovation Committee<> to help promote social businesses within the region.

(Ireland) The ChangeX social enterprise project<> challenged the people of Ireland to launch 100 new community projects in 100 days, providing a toolkit for setting up local social enterprises.

(Hong Kong) The CSR Asia Weekly<> carried an article describing the activities of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund<>, the Social Enterprises Promotion Unit<> and the HKCSS-HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre<> in the support of the Hong Kong social enterprise sector.

(UK) PublicFinance (a publication for public finance professionals) published an article that expressed concerns over the hype of social finance<> as a solution for society’s problems, and that the excitement could hinder the potential of social finance.

Events & Conferences

The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) will be hosting a series of bi- weekly workshops<> at the CCEDNet Manitoba Office, 765 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB, beginning on May 5, 2015 and running until June 16, 2015 that will focus on planning for an organization’s financial stability.

CCEDNet will be holding a one-time Build and Grow Your Social Enterprise<> workshop at the offices of the United Way Winnipeg, 580 Main Street on May 7, 2015 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

The Community Foundations of Canada will be holding its annual conference<> in Calgary AB on May 7 to 9, 2015.  The theme of this year’s conference will be The Wild Wild Why.

Innoweave will be holding an online Social Enterprise Opportunity Identification<> workshop on May 7, 2015, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.  The event will be hosted by David LePage of Accelerating Social Impact.

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