VANCOUVER - The B.C. government is supporting social innovation by investing $194,450 to research the social venture sector and its human resource challenges through a labour market partnership agreement with the ISIS Research Centre at the Sauder School of Business.
Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Don McRae made the announcement at the Propelling Social Ventures 2014 conference in Vancouver, organized by ISIS’ Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub, one of many events happening in B.C. during Social Enterprise Month.
Social enterprises or ventures - a form of social innovation - differ from most traditional businesses in that profits are not just used to ensure financial viability, but are re-invested to achieve, sustain and further a social or environmental purpose.
During the 15-month project, the ISIS Research Centre will partner with a number of organizations to study the size and scope of the social venture sector in B.C. to better understand labour market needs and challenges. The study will provide a baseline to help inform strategies and next steps for this sector to ensure access to the people and skills it needs.
The ISIS Research Centre at the Sauder School of Business is focused on leveraging business tools to advance social innovation and sustainability, through research, development and application.
As an active member of the BC Partners for Social Impact, government works with leaders in the social innovation field to promote and support social innovation and enterprise across the province.
The government of B.C. has proclaimed April 2014 as Social Enterprise Month to celebrate the expanding social enterprise sector and recognize its contribution to the strength and resiliency of B.C. communities.
The project is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA).
Don McRae, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation -
“This is the first Social Enterprise Month we’ve celebrated in B.C. to acknowledge the hard work social entrepreneurs have put into the growth of the sector and to recognize the positive impact of social enterprise throughout our province. By providing this funding to the ISIS Research Centre, we will get a more accurate picture of social ventures in B.C. and how to ensure they can get the skilled employees they need to be successful.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
“The social enterprise sector is a new and innovative part of B.C.’s growing economy. This study will provide the sector with a critical labour market analysis that will help to identify key human resource information for British Columbians who want to pursue social enterprise as both a career and a business.”
Dr. James Tansey, Sauder School of Business professor and executive director, ISIS Research Centre -
“We know that social ventures are expanding at a rapid pace and playing an important role in solving environmental and social challenges in our province and beyond. But currently we know little about the full scope of the labour market which makes the sector thrive. This research project will provide the crucial information we need to inform strategies to stoke the sector’s continual growth and the benefits it brings to our communities.”
- Based on a 2011 survey, B.C. social enterprises provided services to nearly 700,000 people and generated at least $60 million in revenues.
- B.C. social enterprises provide valuable services, offer employment opportunities, involve volunteers, and train thousands of people each year.
- In British Columbia, funding under the Labour Market Development Agreement is used to support labour market programs and services for residents who are collecting Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or have received them in the last three years, or for parents re-entering the labour force who have collected EI parental benefits in the last five years. It is also used to support employers in addressing human resources challenges.
- In 2014-15, the $280.5-million Labour Market Development Agreement budget is being used to provide employment assistance services, job-creation partnerships, labour market partnerships, self-employment, skills development and targeted wage subsidies programs.
Learn more about social innovation and the Action Plan to Maximize Social Innovation in B.C.: www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/social-innovation/index.htm
Information on April Social Enterprise Month events happening around B.C.: http://hubcapbc.ca/
ISIS Research Centre at the Sauder School of Business: www.sauder.ubc.ca/Faculty/Research_Centres/ISIS
Labour Market Partnerships Program: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/sector-partnerships/labour-market-partnerships-program.htm
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation