The province of British Columbia has proclaimed May as Social Enterprise Month with the purpose of raising “awareness of the work social entrepreneurs are doing in B.C. and the contributions these businesses make to their communities and our economy”.
In an article in Nanaimo Business News, Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation said: “No single organization can solve society’s most difficult challenges on its own. With our partners, we are finding new ways to address social challenges and supporting innovators across the province to do the same. Social Enterprise Month is a chance to profile B.C.’s social innovators, the people and organizations that are creating meaningful, sustainable change in our communities.”
This proclamation is in line with the province’s actions to promote Social Innovation that were instigated in 2011. These actions include the establishment of the B.C. Partners for Social Impact (BCPSI) in 2012, a group that includes more than 100 partners from government, business, non-profit organizations, and academic and financial institutions. Additionally, in July 2013, the province created Canada’s first hybrid corporate model – the Community Contribution Company – to help social purpose businesses market themselves to both customers and investors. In 2014, BCPSI launched HubcapBC.ca, B.C.’s online social innovation hub and B.C. held its first ever Social Enterprise Month. Overall, the goal has been to establish a framework to support innovation and growth.
It is great to see a Canada province taking on this challenge and bring social enterprise to the forefront.