Social Enterprise Canada

December 29, 2015

3 Years of Social Enterprise Sector News-making in Canada: 15 Standout Stories

Since the launch of the Enterprising Non-profits Canada newsroom in April of 2012, more than 420 news stories featuring what's emerging in Canada's social enterprise sector have been published. As every news article has been based on an interview with at least one person, that means more than 420 people from across the country and, in a few cases, beyond, have participated in this social enterprise sector newsmaking. 

The ENP newsroom was created to help build a healthy social enterprise ecosystem in Canada, then-ENP Program Manager, David LePage, said at the time of the newsroom's launch. 

3 Photos

A photo of artist Jerry Whitehead at work in the Vancouver social enterprise Skwachàys Lodge and Residence. A combination of an Aboriginal art gallery and art-themed hotel, the social enterprise boosts access to affordable housing for Aboriginal people at risk of homelessness.

A photo of Angela Jaspan in the social enterprise where she works, Colours Café, run by Rainbow’s End Community Development Corporation in Hamilton. Angela also shares a story of signifcant life change, helped in large part by her work with the social enterprise.

A photo of David Young, at work in the woodworking business line of Pathways to Employment, a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Starting work at the social enterprise only months before represented a huge life change for David.

“Stories are a very natural human way to share and build information and keep and build culture,” David said.

The engagement with the stories via Twitter in particular offer one metric for assessing how the stories were shared. The @enpCanada account saw an increase in Twitter followers over the three years from zero to more than 1,000. As the followership grew, activity around sharing the stories also increased. By 2015, most of the stories were being tweeted, retweeted and mentioned from four and up to as many as 15 times.

While it is extremely difficult to choose from the hundreds of stories a handful that stand out, the ENP-CA newsroom has taken on this task, while admitting the limits in perspective of the news team. Below, we share what we consider to be 15 highlights. But we certainly welcome alternative views!

3 Events

The Social Enterprise World Forum 2013

The Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise 2015

The Launch of Buy Social Canada

3 Public Policy Advancements

B.C.'s Adoption of the Community Contribution Company Legislation

Manitoba's Introduction of a Social Enterprise Strategy

Cumberland's Adoption of a Social Procurement Framework

3 Education and Research Developments

The Formation of the Social Enterprise Institute

The Provincial Social Enterprise Sector Surveys

Research on the Success Factors of Employment Social Enterprises

3 Awards Programs

B.C.'s Social Enterprise Heroes

The Biennial National Social EnterPrize Program

Nova Scotia's Innovative Ideas Competition

3 Stories of Lives Changed

On the path to dreams and independence, social enterprise enables new possibilities

Hope is HAVE’s No 1 Ingredient

Impact Junk Solutions creates meaningful work

In closing, the ENP-CA news team, consisting of Axiom News team members, would like to express our deepest gratitude for the opportunity to partner in this endeavour. We've learned a ton, connected with some of the most amazing people, had the chance to work on some of the most fun and interesting stories all while knowing we are illuminating activity in the world that is creating a brighter future.

The ENP-CA newsroom archives from 2012 to 2015 provide a living history of the Canadian social enterprise sector at a vibrant stage of development.

Writer: Michelle Strutzenberger

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