social delta

Consulting and support for social enterprise in Canada

Category: Social Delta news (page 1 of 2)

Making the circular economy economical

We waste a lot in our society.

Perhaps during this time of social isolation you are starting to realize how much we waste. Wasted food. Wasted plastics. Wasted clothing.

The market economy has evolved such that for many products it costs more to fix them than to buy a new one. (yes, I’m talking about you, my electric kettle) It seems that everything that is old, then, is discarded. This is a ridiculous paradigm. A religion of waste.

But there are awesome ideas that are growing as we increasingly acknowledge the old adage that one person’s garbage is another person’s treasure.

Of course, the venerable thrift store has been at the forefront of the retail circular economy for generations; they accept unwanted clothing, magazines, furniture, medical goods, and with a bit of sorting, re-sell (typically) at a modest price anything that seems like it could be sold.

Leading lights in the growing circular economy.

Unbuilders is a company in British Columbia that will unbuild your home. They reclaim everything, including the old growth timbers that were used wantonly at the turn of the 20th century as the forests of BC were cut down to create the buildings of Vancouver. There is money in those timbers, but instead of helicopter logging to get to new (old) forests, they are simply taking the time to remove the nails from wood that has been stored in the walls, rafters, flooring and fixtures of a house for the last 50, 60 or 100 years.

Tool Libraries are showing up across the country. Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, St. John, St. John’s, and so many more places have active tool libraries. The principle concept is that tools can be borrowed like books. Less buying, more sharing. However, the ethos that drives the people who are creating tool libraries is also creating repair cafes, expert coaching on repair and up cycling, and strong commitments to repairing, or taking apart and recycling old tools.

In Ottawa, STRIDE accepts donations of used medical equipment. They have a team of experts to repair, rebuild, recondition and clean the wheelchairs (both manual and electric), the medical beds, the walkers, and the many assisting devices that are built to last far longer than our frail bodies will. These vital tools for health are then made available at a fraction of the price of new.

What should we expect?

The next logical step is for every business to start building products (homes, tools, cars, food packaging, clothing, etc) with the intent that they can be easily “unbuilt” and that the materials can be reclaimed, reused, repurposed. It is happening in some cases, but it needs to happen more.

Human have the creativity to create amazing products, but even the most ingenious rarely consider the full life cycle of every component part.

Everything should be built so that they can become the inputs for future goods. Why cut down more trees, mine more minerals, or create more polymers when we can conceivably create an ecosystem where any of those inputs can be used multiple times?

What can you do?

If you are an aspiring social entrepreneur, consider looking for waste in our society and design a business around that waste as the principle input into your product. And then…try to design your product so that when it has served its function, it can be easily “unbuilt” to become someone else’s treasure.

Ottawa Social Enterprise gives you a chance to celebrate healthcare workers

In the midst of this unprecedented global pandemic, our healthcare workers are heroes. As most of us are quarantining and cooped up in our homes, healthcare workers are on the front lines and risking their lives every single day in order to save the lives of others. So the Ottawa-based social enterprise EcoEquitable decided to find some small way to thank them for everything that they do.

As it turns out, wearing a surgical mask all day every day is hard on your ears. It becomes incredibly painful. That’s the daily reality of the people who are dedicating themselves to helping others. In order to show thanks in some small way, EcoEquitable created a solution—a headband with buttons on it that healthcare workers can hook the mask onto.

EcoEquitable wants to create thousands of these headbands and send them to as many healthcare workers as possible. They will begin with Ottawa hospitals and health facilities, then Ontario, and then all of Canada.

Each mask requires $10 of materials and labour, and they have launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to support their work. As a supporter of social enterprises using their skills and abilities for good, Social Delta is pleased to feature this effort. I have just made a modest contribution, and I encourage everyone to do the same, if you can afford to, by visiting their crowdfunding page.

EcoEquitable is a dynamic, women-led charity and social enterprise based in Ottawa. They employ immigrant and marginalized women to transform discarded and recycled fabrics by sewing them into beautiful things like conference bags and corporate gifts. They transform materials, people, situations, environments, perspectives, and the world.

As they write: “We are women crafting a better story.” Social enterprises are constantly providing social value; Social Delta applauds them for stepping up to help in these difficult times. Please support their effort.

Strategies for social enterprises to survive social distancing

Every business is struggling now under the recommendations (and requirements) for people to stay home and not be in public gathering places, retail locations or restaurants and bars.

Here are 7 suggested activities for your social enterprise, to make good use of this time in order to strengthen your business in the future.

To be clear, it is clear that this is not business as usual. Money is tight. Priorities may be changing. Families are in varying degrees of crisis and need. Clients are scared. Entrepreneurs are doubting their futures. Beneficiaries are in greater need than ever. These following recommendations are not a magic solution—if only there was one—but try to take from this list some ideas that fit within your context.

Build customer relationships. Now is a good time to build relationships with your customers and stakeholders. We should do this at all times, of course, but when we can’t meet face to face, there is an unusual opportunity to reach out to get to know your customers better. Here are a few approaches to consider:

  • Ask them how they are doing, and what your business can do to help them?
  • Provide incentives for online shopping, pre-ordering, or referring a friend.
  • Re-confirm the information you have about them (their preferred email, a new phone number, product preferences, etc)
  • Invite them to answer a survey (or attend a video chat) to share what they value most about your products or services.
  • Share with them a good news story about how their past support has provided something of value to a beneficiary of your social enterprise.

Be careful with the content of your outreach, however. Many of us have received emails from every company for which we have a loyalty card or an account telling us their policy on COVID. Frankly, everyone’s policy is the same (give or take) and these efforts at communication are very one-sided. Do I really care what my preferred car rental company’s policy is? Or how the opening hours of the local pharmacy are changing? If we wanted to know this (because we needed to rent a car or pick up a prescription)…we would simply visit their website, or ask them by phone.

Re-visit your business plan. Don’t revise it based upon the pandemic, simply take this time to go back to your original assumptions, do some analysis of how your targets have been met or not met in the last year(s), review the past effectiveness of your strategic marketing channels, etc. Of course, it might also be prudent to look at your risk management strategy (of course you had one in your business plan, right?) and maybe consider what you might include going forward now that you are in the middle of a risky business environment. (What are you learning that would inform your future resilience?). Write down you hypothesis based upon what you know. You can check back in a few months to confirm your assumptions as the market re-calibrates.

Offer your services. You are a social enterprise. You are therefore creating social value at a time when social value is most needed. If your service helps people, make it available. If your revenue helps to provide benefits to those in need, ask people to buy your product/service so that you can help more people (ie double down on communicating your social value proposition to clients). If you can afford to, give away your product/service/time to help others manage through the crisis. This is not about marketing, but about increasing your social impact (and that is what you are in business to do, right?). Oh, as a happy by-product, people will know more about your business, which may help future marketing, but for now, focus on creating social value.

Do (free) online promotions: This is the time to offer a webinar, or create valuable downloadable content, or host a zoom call of your key clients.  It may seem counter intuitive if you are losing money to offer free online content, but remember that by offering up something that is at no cost, but can be of benefit to your audience can help with future sales, or at the least can demonstrate your social commitment while showcasing your expertise or product.

Create (or improve) that online storefront:  Your “to do” list probably has included some reference to creating or strengthening your online sales capacity for some time. It is part of your business plan that you might not have got to yet.  Well, today is the day. Start investing in the infrastructure to sell your products or services online. Create a virtual storefront. Set up a Paypal account. Ensure that you are able to fulfill online orders promptly and accurately. Link your online ordering system with your customer relationship management software (or your Excel spreadsheet, or your paper files…depending on the maturity of your office record keeping systems).  This may cost you money to set up (at a time when money might be tight) but it is a necessary investment in future growth…and very likely will help you recover losses is this pandemic scare lasts for any length of time.

Limit your costs. This sounds obvious—and somewhat counterintuitive after some of the recommendations above—but wherever possible, reduce your variable costs and try to negotiate lower fixed costs (or defer them). Don’t keep your staff hired just to make a point if it is going to harm the long term sustainability of your business. (There are—so far—more cash benefits from government for individuals than there are for small businesses) Don’t place that huge supply order unless you absolutely need it to meet market demand. Negotiate better terms with your financial partners on outstanding loans. Ask for longer payment terms on outstanding invoices. (your clients may be asking you for the same if you are selling business to business)

Apply for relief. There are several programs and promotions being offered to support small businesses. These are changing each day, but research grants, low interest loans, tax breaks and other policies that may apply to your business.

Key Gov’t supports are summarized and linked here: (bookmark this link and check back frequently, as the programs keep changing as we learn more)

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Check with your financial institution about Accessing interest free loans (up to $40K until Dec 2022) through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). Up to 25% of this loan is forgivable in certain conditions.

And a bonus one: (thank you for reading to the end!)

Look after yourself. Of course you are social distancing, or placing yourself in isolation if you are not feeling well. But remember to eat well, get moderate exercise, sleep, listen to your favorite music with your eyes closed, limit your intake of frenetic news updates…whatever you need to stay physically and emotionally healthy.

The restrictions on our lives and businesses, and the inevitable new landscape in the economy in the coming months will need us to remain positive, balanced, mindful and patient.

Don’t let the worry lead to a feeling of despair. Stay connected with friends, clients, beneficiaries, and family in whatever way you can to bolster your spirits and your resolve to remain in business for social improvement. 

The effectiveness of your social enterprise will rely on your ability to remain committed, focused, and diligent in the months ahead.

Social Delta provides Investment Readiness Program (IRP) consulting

The Government of Canada has launched the Investment Readiness Program, which provides non-repayable financing (also known as grants!) of between $10,000 and $100,000 to help social purpose businesses grow.

This is a landmark commitment to social finance and investing in the social economy of Canada by the federal government. All social enterprises–both new and seasoned–should learn more about this program in order to apply for the grants to build their capacity to be ready to accept social investments (loans, share capital) in order to grow their business, and generate greater positive social impact in our communities.

For more than a decade, Social Delta has been providing the type of consulting that is eligible for funding under this program. Contact us to discuss how we can help you access and effectively use these newly available funds to start or scale your social enterprise.

The IRP is available for social enterprises and social purpose organizations regardless of how they’ve been incorporated. Non-profits, co-operatives, and private sector businesses with a social mission are all eligible. If you are in business (or want to be in business) to create social value, this program can help you kick start your mission based company. There a five organizations administering the grant applications and one of those organizations, the Community Foundations of Canada, offers a very useful FAQ document that can be downloaded here.

This is not a grant to cover your operational expenses. However, it is money that is available to help you create a strategic approach to develop and fulfill the demand for your products and services. Business planning, marketing, organizational readiness, market research, and even purchasing assets necessary to fulfill contracts are all eligible expenses.

Social Delta is experienced, having worked with more than 400 social enterprises and social entrepreneurs across the country. We help with early stage creative thinking, professional market research, finding sources of start up funds, building effective and practical operational business plans, and scale social enterprises by increasing sales and reach.

We offer a complimentary 45 minute confidential consultation to discuss your business, and to listen to how we can help you create or grow a successful social enterprise. With the launch of the IRP, now there are funds available that can help us help you. To chat with us, book a free consultation online, or contact us here.

Six Steps to become a Knowledge Brokering Social Enterprise

Does your organization identify as one of the following?

  1. A Centre of Excellence,
  2. A knowledge hub,
  3. A network of practice,
  4. A think tank.

In today’s world, managing information is one of the biggest challenges. Great ideas, proven practices, academic research and innovative social ideas come from diverse sources. When good people have their heads down and are doing good work, silos naturally develop; sharing knowledge between the brains of the most progressive from all sectors has become a job in itself.

The problem is that nobody wants to pay for it.

Actually, that is not entirely true. Any rational person wants to see great ideas being shared. Groups like Ashoka, MaRS, or those offering collective workspace all know that when you mix ideas from different actors in different sectors you often get something new, and frequently something truly remarkable. Governments, large foundations and generous philanthropists in the last 15 years appear to like to invest in starting these “convening” activities and organizations.

However, if you are in the business of knowledge brokering, you are likely facing funding challenges after an initial 3-5 years in operation. (maybe 10 if you have a generous benefactor, or if you are housed at a university) There appears to be an expectation that once the infrastructure is built with the initial funding, then the knowledge sharing organization should have a sufficiently robust history, experience and brand to be able to generate revenues to sustain its staff and operations.

The problem is that financial sustainability is actually elusive.

Invariably, at the end of the funded start-up honeymoon is when I get a call. In the last two years or so, I’ve worked with several of these organizations. They each have exceptional staff committed to convening the best ideas and practices to address vital social issues: environment, child welfare, voluntarism, the threat of invasive species, human rights. Each has approached me wanting to sell their knowledge to those who need it most…the network of practitioners in their respective fields.

The problem is that practitioners can’t pay for it.

In each case, I’ve worked with my clients to document various options to generate revenues. There is an alarming pattern emerging, outlined in the following six mission-driven “opportunities” path:

  1. Membership: We first investigate new (or audit existing) membership approaches, fees, and benefits. For those knowledge brokers who charge membership fees, most are struggling to maintain those programs in an era of the members’ limited resources and the organizations’ escalating costs. Actually, in every case I’ve scrutinized, once the cost of maintaining, renewing, servicing and recruiting members has been accurately accounted for, these program have generated negative financial returns, thus being a tax on the organization. Admittedly, membership programs offer other benefits—gravitas needed for advocacy, accountability, strategic planning direction, board membership, and often a constituency—but these benefits are “soft” and frequently only indirectly help the bottom line, if at all.
  2. Conferences: The next revenue generating option suggested is invariably conferences and/or workshops. For organizations that have never run a conference, they are a lot of work, with very little financial reward. They typically rely on sponsorship to break even (ie fundraising work) and although they certainly support the knowledge brokering mission, they burn out staff, they take resources from other programming, and they can, in worst case scenarios, lose money. In fact, my observation in the last 10 years is that governments are not only providing less money for conferences as sponsors, but they are also sending fewer delegates to conferences as paying registrants. The conference business is slowly decaying except for private sector companies that use them to market new services and products.
  3. Books and White Papers: Many knowledge broker organizations are either housed at universities, or at least affiliated with university programs. It is natural, then, to revert back to the possibility of producing books, articles, guides, handbooks, or white papers or some other form of printed materials. This effort is only a minor step in logic from the traditional form of knowledge sharing, but the increasing costs of research, production, and distribution are rarely covered by the price paid for these items. The smaller the publication, the cheaper it is to create and share, but the less anyone is willing to pay for it, especially if distribution is in a PDF format online. Oh, and printed documents (and even online documents for download) need to be continually updated, and this cost of “maintaining” the resource is difficult to recoup in the price the community will pay for it.
  4. Training: the next logical step is to consider charging for training. Community based social change staff and volunteers who work daily to address social challenges can benefit from training on great techniques, tools and approaches. The knowledge broker organization—all that I’ve worked with—want to be able to give that information to everyone for free (to improve the social outcomes), but will reluctantly admit that they can’t give it away, they need to charge. A long discussion (and often primary research) ensues, only to discover that those who most want the training are the least able to pay for it. There is a last ditch effort to develop a prorated fee scale, hoping to use this technique of price discrimination to maintain accessibility for those who most need it. Financial viability is dicey with these sliding fee schedules, however.
  5. Webinars: (actually, this is really idea 4b, but they are a different product from standard in-person training…). The logical argument made for webinars is that if the costs of training can be lowered, then the price can be low enough for practitioners to afford. The problem is that good online training actually costs a lot to produce, and in spite of its apparent easy of delivery, it is very hard to sell. A simple “shot on my cell phone” video may work for YouTube, but it is not sufficient for fee-based training products. Sound, lighting, script, and editing are all required to create training folks *might* pay for. There is an irony in our modern world; folks believe that if it is online information, it SHOULD be free. Indeed, there is a lot of free information on every subject out there, and practitioners often prefer to spend an hour (or five) using a search engine to find an array of non-curated content than to spend $100 on a hour of top notch content. This may be ironic, but it is also frustrating if you are trying to generate revenue.
  6. Consulting: Inevitably, the discussion eventually evolves to consider bespoke consulting or a fee-for-service mentoring program. After all, knowledge broker organizations know things that other people don’t fully know, and that is a logical precondition for consulting or mentorship. After a raft of market research (both primary and secondary) for each of my past clients, in many cases it appears that there may be a “niche” non-profit consulting practice that might be of value. In most social issues there are individuals, corporations and governments who may need (read: are willing to pay for) curated information to make it possible for them to do their work. Short term consulting fees can make sense, especially if they remain relatively small contracts that might allow some purchasing autonomy for a branch office or a municipal bureaucrat.

After following this logical path, you may also consider the possibility of transforming your (currently funded) knowledge hub into a consulting business. However, be aware that consulting is a difficult way to make a living. Cash flow can be irregular, and balancing client timelines can be challenging. Many knowledge broker organizations realize that one way to minimize overhead costs is to create a roster of Associates; these Associates are experts, often drawn from the network of members or contributors, who can be called upon when needed, and then left off the payroll during slack consulting times.

If you are interested in learning more about how to structure a consulting social enterprise, please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation.

Cultural Social Enterprises: Admission fees or “entrance by donation”?

Many social enterprises with cultural missions (museums, galleries, recreational facilities, or ongoing or travelling events) struggle with how to set admission prices, and many revert to a “jar at the door” asking for donations.

Spoiler alert: charge admission.

I firmly recommend to any social enterprise that they set prices (including admission fees) based upon a sound understanding of their cost structure, and how much they need to charge their guests they expect to visit their location to attempt to cover these costs. This recommendation is borne out of experience and logic for any business. For cultural social enterprises, they may not cover all of their costs, but charging an admission fee—over an admission-by-donation strategy—has many benefits described below:  

Admission fees are professional

In 1st century BC, Publilius Syrus wrote: “Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it”. This is perhaps a bit simplistic, as the truth is that a sustainable price represents the point where both the customer and the business both are getting a good deal (or at least neither is  getting a raw deal). Charging visitors for admission simply states to your customer that you have spent money to create an experience for them, and they need to spend money to enjoy the experience. All agree that good experiences cost money. Now there is nothing left to do other than haggle over price.

Free, however, suggest that the museum doesn’t pay for, or doesn’t care about, or perhaps doesn’t even know the costs of their service. The assumption by the consumer, paradoxically, is that the experience is likely not going to be very good. In the bizarre world of consumer expectations, free stuff is low quality and useless, and expensive stuff is better quality or valuable. (just think of drinking water or wrapping paper)  Charging admission says that you are professional and that your business value proposition is important and valuable.

Admission fees do not decrease attendance

If you lose 5% of your customers due to the application of an admission fee, that would be a shame, but studies show that admission prices don’t actually decrease attendance. Some even argue that museums and cultural attractions actually get more customers by charging a “professional” amount (see above). A study in 2015 of 98000 adults in the US actually concluded that in most instances, audiences indicate greater intentions to visit organizations that charge more than $20 for an adult admission than those that are free.”

The decision to visit a museum, gallery or event is affected by many factors and price plays a smaller role than most believe. Family history, geographic proximity (especially for travelers), hobbies and interests, marketing and promotions, available time, or availability of alternatives all play a pivotal role in attendance numbers for cultural social enterprises. After all, if you travel to Paris, do you really care what the price of admission is to the Louvre? You are already committed: once you’ve paid for the flight, hotel, meals, and your time…the admission could be 50 Euros before you would even blink.

Admission fees will generate more total revenue than donations

If 100 people come to your attraction and you charge them $10 to get in, you’ll earn $1000 in gross revenue. If 100 people come and are asked to make a suggested donation, you’ll be lucky to get $500 in revenue. It varies by event, attraction, demographics, region, and product, of course, but in every study I’ve read where a “suggested donation amount” is posted, the actual donation is 25-50 percent of the posted amount, even when the posted amount is significantly less than what the market would bear. This is lost revenue and lost opportunity for your cultural business.

There are tricks to try to increase donation amounts. Some have tried offering a choice of recommended amounts (and the results show that most people choose the median recommendation or less). Some have considered a sign saying that other patrons have historically given a certain amount (and this helps to bump up the average donation slightly).

One particularly creative example is from the The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston (CAMH), which doesn’t charge admission and prefers to accept donations. They put out a donation box old-school style with a sign on it that reads: “Average cost per visit $22. Your admission charge $0. Suggested donation $5” This approach increased their average donation slightly, because it listed a factual cost (calculated from the previous year’s financials) as a benchmark allowing visitors to confer value upon the experience they are about to have. This is a clever approach, but still an approach that generated less revenue than a straight $10 admission fee.

Your gift shop benefits

Most cultural social enterprises have an opportunity for a secondary spend. What this means is that your visitors to the main attraction will (of course) be encouraged to visit the gift shop, the ice-cream stand, the café, or the special exhibit. It turns out that visitors who don’t pay for admission are also far less likely to spend money in other parts of your establishment. A good example comes from Cedar Rapids, which offers free admission for about two months a year to their Museum of Art. Their attendance during those promotions (contrary to most data) does increase, but as noted by the business owner “the average donation in the donation box remains in the range of 25-35 cents per person and the average amount spent by those who enter the gift shop plummets from about $13 to about $3.”

You can track and plan marketing and promotions

If your customers have to pay to get in, you can get more information from them that can help document your marketing success or guide your future promotions efforts. Where do they live? How many people are in their party? Did they question the price? Did they request a family rate? Did they use VISA, MC or AMEX? How did they hear about you? Did they use a coupon or a promotion through their hotel?

The act of collecting a fee allows for an interaction (either automatically by the point of sale software, or through conversation). Every time a business can interact with a client, it is an opportunity for improving customer service, retention, and renewal and another way to inform future marketing efforts. A donation box is normally anonymous (to protect the dignity of the donor), and thus represents a lost opportunity for business development.  

Increased social outcomes

Although my data on length of visit of paying vs non-paying customers is largely apocryphal, visitors who have paid to get in to your exhibit are likely to “savour the experience” just a bit more, in order to get their money’s worth. In an art gallery this is often the experience for special exhibits; visitors will pay to see the Monet exhibit, for example, and even if their fee allows them free entrance to the regular collection, many will either forego the gallery’s resident collection, or they will rush through these works of art after hours of peering at the “valuable” art in the special exhibit.

Most cultural social enterprises want people to learn, enjoy, and engage in the mission of the business. Knowing that your customers will read every plaque, pause at every display, and ruminate on how this affects them is certainly a goal equal to or more valuable than the mere volume of visitors.

Admission fees force good business practices

It is true that if you charge a fee, your customers will expect more from your business. Many museums and cultural exhibits are struggling to maintain visitation levels in a world of virtual reality, internet museums, and so many fantastic blogs and websites devoted to capturing and curating history and culture. It is important for all cultural businesses to strive to find new ways to capture the attention of new audiences. Not only will admission fees generate revenue to help run the business, it will also force your board, staff, volunteers and content curators to work diligently to create excellent experiences for customers. There is little incentive to update, change, review, digitize or improve your collection or experience if the customer is not demanding it. 

You can still be accessible

In my experience, the key rationale made to solicit voluntary contributions is to allow everyone to enjoy the museum, installation or activity. “Maximize accessibility” is the mantra. After all, if the mission of the business is to promote culture, then it may seem logical to not create any financial barrier to entry. For fully funded organizations, I accept that “admission by donation” will be fine, as the business costs will be covered by grants or sponsorships. However, the fully funded cultural social enterprise is a unicorn; people claim they exist, but I’ve never seen one.

It is possible to offer bursaries, school programming, or discounted days for those who are unable to pay. There are many creative examples of dignified programs and promotions that can help those for whom a small admission fee still is a concern.

Fees are guaranteed. Donations are fickle.

The other argument I often hear is that donations do not have a ceiling; that is to say, a donation request might yield a $1000 contribution, and surely that possibility makes an “entrance by donation” strategy worth considering.  When faced with this assertion, I normally ask how many large gifts has the business ever received in this manner, and were they able to properly receipt, track and cultivate that donor? More often than not, there is no evidence that such a gift had ever been received, nor is it truly likely to be expected through that mechanism.

The truth is that even if there were to be a “huge gift” in the donation jar, perhaps once in a year, by fluke (every fundraiser knows that “people give to people,” after all), it is likely that the lost opportunity for all those who chose not to donate would exceed the value of the larger one-off gift.

To conclude, it is overwhelmingly clear to me that charging a fee is the right approach for all cultural social enterprises.

The downside risks (fear of decreased attendance or restrictions for those in poverty) are easily managed with creative pricing approaches if it is even necessary, while the benefits of an admission fee are significant. Under set admission fees, revenue is more stable, predictable and lucrative, and the organization is more professional and effective. Fees don’t need to be exorbitant, but they should at least reflect the costs of the business that have not been covered by donations, endowments, or sponsorships.

Regardless of the size of your business, charging an admission will help your social enterprise remain in business, impress and engage your customers, and most effectively promote your cultural or social mission.

IMPACT ACADEMY: A free program to support your social change idea

Deadline to apply: August 17th

Join Impact Academy: CityMaker Edition

HUB Ottawa offers a new cohort of its flagship program, Impact Academy. They are partnering with Synapcity for this special Impact Academy: CityMaker Edition. Here is what you need to know!

What it is: A free, three-month learning program running between September 5th and December 5th, 2018. (Yes, it is a free program for participants this year…so don’t delay)

Who it’s for: Creative and entrepreneurial changemakers working to make our communities more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable and who want to take their projects, ventures and initiatives to the next level.

Topic areas: Transportation & Mobility, Environment & Sustainability, and Healthy & Caring Communities.

Deadline to apply, August 17th, 2018.

Since 2012 Impact Hub’s Impact Academy has supported over 150 social changemakers in their entrepreneurial journey. Social Delta has been an active partner in both the design of the program from its inception, and Jonathan Wade of Social Delta continues to deliver elements of the program.  This year, you can get Social Delta’s insights and recommendations on business modeling on October 31st, but each session will bring expert community resources to the classroom, and spectacular living examples to the program.

Book Launch: June 18

Monday June 18, 2018
6:30-8pm
6th floor, 123 Slater Street, Ottawa

Register for this free event here.

Author Elisa Birnbaum is the editor and chief wordsmith on the active, informative and longstanding blog on social enterprise and the tools of social change in Canada: See Change Magazine. At the launch, Elisa will offer perspectives on what she has researched, stories about successes and challenges in the sector, and will bring to life some of the many significant changes that have been made by social enterprises in Canada, the US and across the world.  She brings a warmth, honesty and tremendous perspective on this changing sector.

Please register in advance.

Note that street parking downtown is also free in the evenings.

 

 

While many in the social enterprise space often qualify themselves as ‘non-profit,’ these organizations should instead treat themselves as ‘for-purpose.’ These organizations should focus on their mission to create social good, while still treating themselves with the same commitment to rigor and discipline as the best for-profits.

Adam Braun

Jonathan Wade: Social Enterprise Expert in Residence at HUB Ottawa

I am pleased to offer Impact HUB Ottawa members free consultations on social enterprise once a week during the fall of 2017.  I will be at HUB Ottawa, 123 Slater Street, 6th Floor on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30. Check the events page each week in case there is a last minute change in timing.

Not a member of the HUB yet?

Consider the Experts in Residence program as one of the many benefits of being a member, and drop by the space to chat with the host to ask about their very reasonable co-working rates.

If you are at the HUB when I am there, and are interested in a chat about social enterprise, please feel free to come and find me if I’m not busy.

Jonathan

 

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